Energy / FirstEnergy

Kasich not backing bailout for Ohio nuclear plants

Governor says FirstEnergy needs to figure out how to keep facilities operating

State regulators approved a plan to help subsidize the Davis-Besse Plant in Ottawa County and other power plants across Ohio by having customers act like investors.

OREGON — “Gov. John Kasich said Monday that he can’t see supporting a proposed financial rescue that FirstEnergy Corp. maintains is needed to keep alive the state’s two aging nuclear plants.

He said it’s up to the utility to figure out how to keep its nuclear plants operating without a state-approved bailout.

Akron-based FirstEnergy wants Ohio lawmakers to sign off on an electricity rate increase for its customers to save the Davis-Besse and Perry plants, which sit along Lake Erie and produce 14 percent of the state’s electricity.

The plants are vital to the rural towns where they’re located and generate millions in tax money for schools and local governments. But like many nuclear plants around the nation, both Davis-Besse and Perry are aging, costly to operate and maintain, and face stiff competition from cheaper natural gas plants.

…A proposal that could lead to $300 million a year in new charges for FirstEnergy customers in order to help out the nuclear plants has been stalled in the legislature since late spring.”

— John Seewer, Associated Press

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