Energy / FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy

Saving coal, nuclear plants pits FirstEnergy against PUCO before federal regulators

The U.S. Department of Energy’s has ordered federal energy regulators to come up with market rules by the end of November to help nuclear power plants like FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse plant to compete against the new ultra-efficient gas turbine power plants. Ohio regulators are opposing a quick rule change because they believe it could be too costly to customers. Photo by Kathiann M. Kowalski.

CLEVELAND — The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) will oppose a federal initiative aimed at coming up with a quick fix to the competitive problems of old coal and nuclear plants owned by FirstEnergy and other traditional utilities.

PUCO on Friday voted to urge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject a request from the Trump administration to quickly issue new rules aimed at helping the old power plants compete against new, ultra-efficient gas turbine power plants.

The problem is that nobody knows how much such a radical change to competitive markets would add to customer bills, said PUCO Chairman Asim Haque.

— John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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