News and Analysis
In mid-November, the consulting firm Lazard released its Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis that finds certain alternative energy generation technologies are cost-competitive with conventional generation technologies under certain circumstances without subsidies.
The firm concludes: “We find that Alternative Energy technologies are complementary to conventional generation technologies, and believe that their use will be increasingly prevalent for a variety of reasons, including environmental and social consequences of various conventional generation technologies, RPS requirements, carbon regulations, continually improving economics as underlying technologies improve and production volumes increase and government subsidies in certain regions.” 12/6/2018
This week the Supreme Court of Ohio denied two appeals relating to recovery from customers by the Ohio Power Company (AEP Ohio) of costs associated with the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation’s (OVEC) generating plants.
Over the appeals of OMA Energy Group and the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, the court authorized AEP Ohio to implement a Power Purchase Agreement Rider (PPA Rider), which includes cost recovery for the OVEC generating plants, which are obsolete, uneconomic coal plants.
The court failed to recognize that the PPA Rider does not benefit customers and is counter to the state policy of avoiding anticompetitive subsidies and advancing competitive markets.
OMA-backed HB 247 is the perfect vehicle to correct the errors that occurred in this case and will protect customers from subsidizing monopoly utility companies.
PJM issued a report wherein it said that, contrary to proposals that have been advanced throughout the past year, the pending retirements of uneconomic coal and nuclear power plants do not threaten grid resiliency.
As such, PJM concluded that bailout efforts such as those proposed by the Department of Energy and the White House are not necessary.
PJM’s report can be read here. 11/7/2018
Members of the OMA Sustainability Peer Network (SPN) converged on Findlay on October 26 to learn how Whirlpool Corp. is reducing waste and innovating the manufacturing processes at its dishwasher plant.
The wind farm is operated by OMA Connections Partner, One Energy.
The SPN is open to OMA manufacturing members. Members work together to share best practices related to efficiency, waste reduction and other facets of sustainable manufacturing. Sign up here or contact OMA’s Ryan Augsburger to learn more. 10/26/2018
In good news for Ohio utility customers, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) ordered Ohio’s regulated public utilities to file applications to reduce their rates due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA).
The Commission ordered electric, natural gas, water and wastewater utilities whose rates are regulated by the PUCO and serve more than 10,000 customers to file an application by Jan. 1, 2019 to reduce rates.
In its order, the Commission noted a few utilities have already reduced certain riders, or adjusted base distribution rates through recently approved rate cases.
The Commission also stressed that utilities that fail to file an application to reduce rates in compliance with this order may be subject to monetary fines.
The OMA Energy Group intervened in this proceeding in order to ensure that members’ interests are protected and that the full benefit of the TCJA is passed back to customers, as required by law. 10/24/2018
This week the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) issued an order to establish the PowerForward Collaborative, and its subgroups, the Distribution System Planning Working Group (PWG) and the Data and Modern Grid Workgroup (DWG).
The PowerForward Collaborative is an overarching workgroup of utility stakeholders, and will be led by the PUCO staff. The collaborative is tasked with observing marketplace development to ensure PowerForward’s principles and objectives are being fulfilled.
The PowerForward Roadmap contemplates that the collaborative will discuss issues associated with electric vehicle infrastructure, as well as a process for the deployment of non-wires alternatives.
The PWG and DWG will include discussions surrounding the integration of distributed resources and non-wires alternatives into the system, data access and data privacy.
The collaborative’s first meeting will be Dec. 6, 2018, at the PUCO offices in Columbus.You can opt in to PowerForward email updates. 10/25/2018
Reports from the nation’s capital indicate that the generating plant bailouts proposed by Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry have run into opposition within the White House, because of concerns about their certain negative effect on the economy, and on consumers.
That is very good news for Ohio manufacturers.
Message to the Ohio General Assembly (which is being pushed by Ohio utilities for expensive state-level bailouts): If it doesn’t pass muster among the president’s economic advisors, it should not pass muster with you. 10/17/2018
Together with Kroger and the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, the OMA has filed to ask the court to reconsider its recent ruling to allow DP&L to retain $294 million in charges which were deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Under the court ruling, Ohio electricity consumers can be illegally overcharged but have no recourse to refunds. The statute that the court relied on in its ruling needs to be changed, and would be by HB 247, sponsored by Rep. Mark Romanchuk (R-Mansfield). 10/17/2018
The OMA Energy Groups is urging the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to deny an AEP attempt to bypass a “need” determination for its proposal to stick its customers with the costs of 900 megawatts of solar generation it proposes to build.
In the robust competitive market for generation in Ohio, consumers can, and do, purchase renewable energy in increasing amounts. Consumers are also increasingly developing their own renewable energy resources.
There is no “need” (except perhaps for the utility) for this mandate on consumers. 10/17/2018
On October 4, 2018, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued a decision dismissing the appeal brought by the OMA Energy Group, among others, regarding the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s (PUCO) decision to allow the Dayton Power and Light Company (DP&L) to withdraw its second electric security plan (ESP II) after the court had previously determined that the PUCO-approved ESP II included $294 million in unlawful transition charges to customers.
Three justices joined the majority opinion, one justice concurred, and three justices dissented. The majority of the court decided that even though the PUCO approved an unlawful charge and then refused to rectify its error when told to do so by the court, customers would see no relief because a new ESP is now in place.
Kim Bojko of Carpenter Lipps & Leland, energy counsel to OMA Energy Group, wrote: “This decision sets a bad precedent for future cases because it allows the PUCO’s failure to properly implement a court order to go unchecked, to the detriment of customers.”
Dayton Daily News covered the case. 10/11/2018