FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy

FirstEnergy nuclear subsidy would thwart Ohio shale gas, kill jobs says API Ohio

FirstEnergy has asked Ohio lawmakers to create new regulations awarding “zero emission credits,” or ZECs, to its nuclear power plants, Davis-Besse east of Toledo and Perry east of Cleveland, in recognition that they do not contribute to air pollution. The ZECs would increase customer bills by 5 percent, could not be avoided even by customers buying power from other companies and provide the company with an additional $328 million a year for up to 16 years. At the same time, FirstEnergy has not ruled out selling the power plants (Credit: Cleveland Plain Dealer).

CLEVELAND — “The politically powerful American Petroleum Institute is opposing FirstEnergy’s legislation raising power prices to subsidize its nuclear power plants because it’s a threat to Ohio’s shale gas development.

FirstEnergy wants to raise about $328 million a year for up to 16 years, for a total cost of $5.25 billion in additional charges, said API’s top economist today. And at the same time the subsidy would take the steam out of Ohio shale gas development.

Chris Zeigler, API Ohio executive director, explained API’s reasoning this way:

He said the subsidy would give FirstEnergy an unfair boost in regional wholesale markets where new gas turbine plants are now competing against nuclear and coal-fired power plants.”

— John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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