FirstEnergy: Nuclear plants will close if they do not recieve financial assistance
- In an interview with the Toledo Blade, FirstEnergy President and Chief Nuclear Officer Sam Belcher said the financial situation at its Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants is "urgent," and they will be shut down unless the state steps in with assistance or a buyer emerges.
- FirstEnergy is working to develop legislation that would help the plants continue to operate, but according to the Blade the company has yet to identify a sponsor for the proposal.
- First Energy, along with American Electric Power, previously won approval for financial support at its plants last year, but federal regulators scrapped the deal arguing it would impact wholesale markets.
There's been little progress on developing support for Ohio's nuclear plants since last year, when FirstEnergy said it would take a wait-and-see approach. In December, the utility indicated it would wait 18 months, but with no apparent movement on the issue, CNO Belcher gave an hour-long interview to the Toledo Blade to highlight the plants' precarious positions.
“The situation is real. It’s urgent,” Belcher told the Blade. “In the absence of something happening, we’re going to have to make some tough decisions.”
So far ts legislative proposal—The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer obtained a copy—has not found traction. That proposal is said to raise customer bills 5% monthly in order to raise $300 million annually. FirstEnergy is trying to get the state to approve zero-emissions credits (ZEC), similar to proposals in New York and Illinois.
AEP has said it supports the subsidies as long as its own customers are not charged.
Legislators are reportedly weighing the proposals. Ohio Rep. Bill Seitz (R) explained to Columbus Business First that while the proposal would keep the nuclear plants generating carbon-free energy through their expected lifespan, the extra costs would be borne by consumers and could affect market revenues for gas generators.
- The Toledo Blade ENERGY FirstEnergy exec calls for ‘urgent’ aid
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