FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy

FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones appeals to Ohio Senate committee to support nuclear power subsidy

The Davis-Besse nuclear power plant would be more competitive under a new proposal from PJM Interconnection, the company that manages the high-voltage grid in Ohio and 12 other states. But plant owner FirstEnergy is asking for a customer surcharge to raise more money for its nuclear fleet (credit: Plain Dealer file).

COLUMBUS — “FirstEnergy’s effort to persuade state lawmakers that its nuclear power plants won’t survive without a state-mandated customer surcharge is now focused on the Ohio Senate.

FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones, accompanied by lobbyists, told members of the Senate Public Utilities Committee on Thursday that its Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants may never make money competing in regional wholesale electric markets against gas turbine generators.

…Sen. Troy Balderson, R-Zanesville, wanted to know whether a state-mandated subsidy would increase profits for the company. He said he did not get a straight answer. And he questioned why customers could not opt out of paying the ZEC charge. Republican lawmakers included a business customer opt-out in legislation last year slowly ending green energy mandates.

The company is modeling its ZEC initiative on programs launched earlier in New York and Illinois. Competitors have filed federal suits challenging the subsidies in both states and have already said they would file suits here.”

— John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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