A proposal to subsidize two coal-fired power plants is no longer on a fast track and might not pass at all.
This is a shift from last month, when House Bill 239 seemed to be moving quickly toward becoming law, despite opposition from consumer and environmental groups.
The Ohio House Public Utilities Committee introduced a new version of the bill on Tuesday to respond to opponents’ concerns. However, the panel’s members said additional changes are likely.
Under the bill, the owners of Ohio Valley Electric Corp. would receive a guarantee of income at times when the market price of electricity is less than the cost to operate the power plants. That money would come from a charge to consumers.
If the plants become profitable, customers would receive a credit.
The power plants are Kyger Creek in Cheshire, which went online in 1955 and can generate about 1,100 megawatts, and Clifty Creek in Madison, Indiana, also started in 1955 and with a capacity of about 1,300 megawatts.
Ohio Valley Electric has more than a dozen co-owners, including American Electric Power. AEP customers already pay a monthly charge for the company’s share, but that charge is subject to renewal by state regulators every few years. The bill would extend the charge and allow other Ohio-based co-owners to have a similar deal.