Energy / FirstEnergy

Bailout chances may be good for FirstEnergy Solutions’ Ohio nuclear plants

The Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station at Oak Harbor, Ohio. Photo by Kathiann M. Kowalski.

AKRON — “Akron’s FirstEnergy Solutions (FES) is still on track to shutter its Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants in 2020 and 2021, respectively, but some observers now predict the company will get a state bailout for the plants instead.

The company is hoping the state will grant what are known as zero emissions credits to the plants, which would effectively subsidize them, through fees on Ohio electricity users. The credits are for creating electricity without pumping carbon dioxide or other pollutants into the air.

The big question may be whether any charges on customers’ bills will be applied statewide, or just in Northern Ohio, where the company and its parent, FirstEnergy Corp., have long been the dominant electric utility.

…If lawmakers choose to bail out Ohio’s plants, they may have to choose between making the entire state less competitive in terms of electricity costs or making much of Northern Ohio even less competitive with a subsidy spread among fewer customers. Brakey [Chagrin Falls energy consultant Matt Brakey, head of Brakey Energy] suggested lawmakers look at ways to relieve the burden on other industries that also produce valuable jobs in the state, such as exempting some heavy industrial users from having the fee be applied to all of their electricity.”

— Dan Shingler, Crain’s Cleveland Business

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