- AEP Ohio is still pushing re-regulation of the state's energy markets, but Dayton Business Journal reports the utility will face an uphill battle and could use more assistance from other investor-owned utilities, the Columbus Business Journal reports.
- The utility is hoping to know by early next year whether a bid to restructure state's markets could be feasible. Thus far, however, other IOUs in the state have not been closely involved in the discussion.
- AEP is working to sell several coal plants in the state and has indicated it would sell other generation if an agreement cannot be reached. The utility last year floated re-regulation, but has faced concern from environmentalists.
If AEP wants to restructure the state's energy markets, it will ultimately need help from FirstEnergy and Dayton Power & Light. But Dayton Business Journal reports those utilities have their own regulatory priorities right now.
"I think the best route of success is going to be getting the IOUs on board. That's something we'd really like to have," AEP Ohio President Julie Sloat previously told Columbus Business First.
FirstEnergy's focus has been on its own generation plans, but the utility supports plans to restructure the markets. Platts reported last week that Executive Vice President and CFO James Pearson said at the Barclays CEO Electric-Power Conference that the utility wants to "convert megawatts from the unregulated market to a regulated construct."
AEP and FirstEnergy won support for struggling coal and nuclear generation earlier this year the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio unanimously approved the power purchase agreements they sought. But federal regulators subsequently blocked the deals, leading to talk of plant sales and re-regulation.
While it is not a wholesale restructuring, Ohio Sen. Bill Seitz (R) has floated a proposal that would financially pressure net metering customers to select the utility for its generation source or potentially relinquish some net metering benefits. The bill is similar to a measure AEP made last year.
Back in May, however, Midwest Energy News reported environmental groups opposed the plan. “The bill as a whole doesn’t paint a picture for where we should be headed on Ohio energy policy,” Ohio Environmental Council's Trish Demeter told the outlet. “It’s just a hodgepodge. ...It doesn’t do anything to transition us to a clean energy future, which is where the markets are headed [and] which is what people want.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed the story to Dayton Business Journal. That's incorrect as it originally ran in the Columbus Business Journal.