Renewable Energy / Utilities

Ohio renewable energy bill could hurt AEP’s wind and solar projects

A solar array at Consolidated Electric Cooperative in Delaware. (Credit: Tom Knox/Columbus Business First)

COLUMBUS — “A plan to scrap Ohio’s renewable energy standards could impact a Columbus utility’s plan to develop large wind and solar projects.

A provision allows customers who shop for their power to not pay the utility costs it passes on from providing new power generation, including from renewables. While American Electric Power Company Inc. handles power distribution and bills for every Central Ohio power user, 35 percent of its customers – more than 511,000 people – shop on the open market for power generation.

AEP wants to build 900 megawatts of wind and solar power, and already has gauged interest from developers on the projects. It has yet to file specific projects with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Allowing more than a third of its customer base to opt-out of paying for the project could hinder its development prospects – and that’s exactly the point, says one of the bill’s main co-sponsors.”

— Tom Knox, Columbus Business First

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