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Ohio House Approves Bill That Removes Renewable Energy Requirements, Provides Funding for Nuclear and Coal Generation

  • June 3rd, 2019

As many states, cities, and municipalities are pushing towards the use of 100% renewable energy and carbon emissions-free generation, Ohio passed a bill this week that would accomplish the opposite.  It will be one of the first states to push out renewable energy in favor of traditional fuel sources.  The Ohio House voted on and approved HB 6 on May 29th.  This bill is expected to pass in the Senate due to Republican support and Gov. Mike DeWine.  HB 6 will support the state’s nuclear fleet, primarily First Energy Solution’s 2 facilities, coal generation and eliminate the current renewable energy mandate set in 2008.

This new bill will create about $190-$200 million per year fund for nuclear and coal generation through 2026.  The newly established Clean Air Program will help the financially struggling 908 MW Davis-Besse and 1,268 MW Perry nuclear powerplants owned by First Energy Solutions.  The majority of the funds will be distributed to the nuclear fleet and the remainder going towards coal generation.  Solar and wind generation were not included into the Clean Air Program as currently written.    

Residential accounts will be charged an additional $1 fee per month while industrial customers will be charged $2500 monthly.  HB 6 will also allow the utility to charge an additional $2.50 for 2 coal plants owned by the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.  In an attempt to mitigate the cost increase to the end user, the bill removed the mandate that required utilities to purchase 12.5% of their power from renewable sources by 2027.  The elimination of the renewable energy requirement portion of the invoice saves residential customers about $4.50 a month.  Proponents of the bill say the net overall effect of HB 6 will save residential customers $1 a month moving forward. 

Ohio’s government is expected to endorse this program within the next month due to deadlines set by First Energy Solutions.  First Energy Solutions needs a swift decision because they will need to either refuel the Perry powerplant or begin decommissioning procedures.