FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy / Ohio Utility Bailouts

Regardless of whether FirstEnergy nuke plants receive subsidies, electricity supply will remain reliable

The Davis-Besse nuclear power plant.

CLEVELAND — “There will be no reliability issues with electricity in Northeast Ohio if the Ohio Legislature refuses to subsidize FirstEnergy Corp.’s nuclear plants in Toledo and Perry — or even if the plants close down.

Those aren’t likely words that the Akron-based utility wants to hear as Ohio lawmakers debate whether to enable a ratepayer-paid subsidy for FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants, but they are the words of Craig Glazer. And he’s not only a former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, but the current vice president of federal government policy at PJM, which runs the electric grid, or regional transmission organization, for Ohio and 13 other states.

‘The lights aren’t going to go out,’ Glazer said in a June 21 interview. ‘There’s not a reliability problem. If you want to save them (the nuclear plants) because of their jobs, because of economic development reasons or for tax revenue, that’s outside of our bailiwick. Save them if you want to save them — but don’t think you’re saving them because that’s what’s necessary to keep the lights on.’

FirstEnergy’s nuclear plants are in trouble, largely because they are having difficulty competing with cheaper power, often produced by natural gas plants using fuel from shale drilling. The company has said they might face closure, unless the state does something to give them additional revenue.”

— Dan Shingler, Crain’s Cleveland Business

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