FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy

Ohio’s nuclear future uncertain, subsidies in New York, Illinois get court victories

FirstEnergy’s Perry nuclear power plant (credit: News-Herald file photo).

COLUMBUS — “Bills going through the Ohio legislature that would subsidize the state’s two nuclear power plants have stalled, but similar energy credits approved in Illinois and New York have won their first round of legal battles.

FirstEnergy has been lobbying for a Zero Emission Nuclear Resource Program or ‘ZEN’ for its nuclear power plants in North Perry and Oak Harbor, which are struggling to compete with cheaper natural gas. The Akron-based company has said it is looking to sell or shutter its nuclear plants as it seeks to exit the competitive power generation business.

Under the proposal, the ZEN credits would last at least four years, working on two-year periods for up to 16 years (eight program periods). The Environmental Defense Council has placed the price tag for the Ohio proposal at $5.25 billion. The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, representing utility ratepayers, calculated the costs to each of FirstEnergy’s 2 million residential customers at $57 a year, on average with the potential that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio could allow upward adjustments. Businesses and factories would see a larger annual cost increase.”

— Andrew Cass, The News-Herald

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