Energy / FirstEnergy

Ohio weighs a nuclear plant bailout at FirstEnergy’s urging. Will it boost renewables, too?

The powerful utility FirstEnergy has been pushing nuclear subsidies for years. It spent big in the last election and won a power shift in the legislature.

COLUMBUS — “FirstEnergy’s aggressive strategy has broad implications for Ohio’s energy future. It has been a leading adversary of policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency, while at the same time seeking state and federal bailouts for its older nuclear and coal plants. It was among those urging the Trump administration to use emergency powers to provide financial support to uncompetitive fossil fuels plants that otherwise might close.

The next few months may now show the extent to which the company’s agenda has become the state of Ohio’s agenda.

Legislative leaders are preparing to introduce a bill that would provide subsidies to companies that operate nuclear plants. A previous nuclear bill died in 2017 after it wasn’t brought up for a committee vote in the Republican-controlled House. But the House leadership, while still Republican, has changed.

…This push for a nuclear bailout could also present an opportunity for renewable energy in Ohio, a state with a renewable energy manufacturing base but an on again, off again history of support for wind and solar.”

— Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News

read more

Tags: ,