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David Schlissel is IEEFA’s Director of Resource Planning Analysis. His work focuses primarily on the technical and economic viability of resources being used or being proposed for use in the electric power sector.
Yesterday’s ruling by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to allow for ratepayer subsidies of aging coal-fired power plants operated by First Energy and AEP proves that these plants aren’t competitive. Indeed, the ruling serves as a reminder that the only way the power plants can survive is through massive ratepayer bailouts.
Yet the case is not over, since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has yet to rule on it and the PUCO decision will probably be appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.
IEEFA’s analysis of the FirstEnergy plan in particular has shown that customers are likely to pay at least $4 billion extra for electricity from FirstEnergy’s aging coal plants, as well as the frequently troubled Davis Besse nuclear plant, over the eight-year life of the deal.
Here’s why the ruling is a bad one:
In sum, customers—if PUCO’s ruling stands—will be paying to subsidize uneconomic electricity plants so FirstEnergy and AEP can profit.
David Schlissel is IEEFA’s director of resource planning analysis.