News and Analysis
API Ohio last week released a new poll finding that a majority of voters in Summit, Lake and Ottawa counties oppose legislation that would allow FirstEnergy to charge its customers a special fee to support its Ohio Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants.
API Ohio is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry.
API Ohio Executive Director Chris Zeigler said, ” … We do not oppose nuclear power. What we oppose are legislative schemes that subsidize one form of energy over another, and create an uneven playing field that costs consumers, hurts manufacturers and threatens the state’s economy.”
According to API, poll results include:
- 81% of voters agree that Ohio consumers should not have to pay a special fee to bailout FirstEnergy’s nuclear power plants.
- 70% of voters agree that the Ohio electricity market should be based on the marketplace, and not on whether the state government allows one particular corporation to charge its customers more to sustain its electric power generation.
601 Ohio registered voters in Lake County, Summit County and Ottawa County were polled. 10/12/2017
Lawmakers in Columbus have been considering legislation to prop up FirstEnergy’s affiliate that owns a fleet of nuclear power plants. The power plants’ profitability has diminished as newer, efficient natural gas-fueled power plants come online. The proposed law would impose a new energy rider on all residential and business customers in FirstEnergy service territories.
House Bill 381 calls for the new rider to be paid by customers until at least 2030. The OMA was an opponent of the prior version of the bill. Needless to say: more to come. 10/12/2017
This week members of the House Public Utilities Committee again considered an electric utility subsidy, House Bill 239, which would require Ohioans to pay a new tax on monthly power bills to subsidize the owners of the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC).
AEP Ohio has the largest ownership stake in OVEC and would get the biggest subsidy. The utility testified in support of the bill this week.
The bill would force Ohio customers to prop up the finances of the Kyger Creek power plant near Gallipolis, Ohio, and the Clifty Creek power plant in Madison, Indiana. The OMA and other business groups sent a strong letter opposing the bill. Competitive power suppliers oppose the bill as do residential advocates including AARP.
A vote is likely next Tuesday. Concerned manufacturers are encouraged to call members of the House Public Utilities Committee to ask them to oppose the bill. 10/5/2017
The OMA Energy Group (OMAEG) has filed a motion to intervene in the Unique Economic Development Arrangement filed at the PUCO by AEP and Vadata, Inc. (an affiliate of Amazon Web Services).
The price concession was requested as part of Vadata’s plan to build and operate “cloud computing data centers” at three Ohio locations.
OMAEG intervened in order to ensure that the requested reasonable arrangement appropriately balances any purported benefits to the state and local economies with the costs required to achieve such benefits.
OMA Connections Partner, Jones Day, posted about a trade issue in the photovoltaic industry: “A recent decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) could have long-term consequences for the U.S. solar industry. On September 22, 2017, the ITC found, by a vote of 4-0, that rising imports have caused “serious injury” to domestic manufacturers of solar photovoltaic (“PV”) panels, thus supporting trade barriers restricting solar panel imports. The ITC will now have until mid-November 2017 to recommend remedies to President Trump, who may exercise his sole discretion in determining which safeguards are to be implemented.”
Jones Day also wrote: “Solar project developers and installation companies, which have benefitted from the rapid decline in solar PV panel prices, lined up in opposition to the case. They argued that increasing the price of panels would jeopardize the development of dozens of gigawatts of solar generation facilities and lead to tens of thousands of lost jobs. …”
Read more from Jones Day here. 9/26/2017
All of GM’s Ohio and Indiana manufacturing facilities will meet their electricity needs with 100% renewable energy by the end of 2018 according to this announcement by General Motors Corporation this week.
GM is buying a total of 200 megawatts of wind energy from Ohio and Illinois wind farms. Once the turbines come online by the end of 2018, renewable energy will power 20% of GM’s global electricity use.
The new wind deals are enough to meet the electricity needs of Fort Wayne Assembly, Marion Metal Center and Bedford Casting plants in Indiana and Lordstown Assembly, Defiance Casting Operations, Parma Metal Center and Toledo Transmission plants in Ohio.
GM is an OMA member. 9/28/2017
This week the OMA Sustainability Peer Network (SPN) toured Honda’s Marysville Automobile Manufacturing plant. The sold-out tour focused on Honda’s sustainability projects and initiatives.
The SPN plans an in-person meeting on Wednesday, December 6 to discuss manufacturer-driven initiatives and reduction goals with respect to greenhouse gases. There will be a panel of subject matter experts and group discussion.
Watch Leadership Briefing for details and registration information. Or email us here to make sure we send you the details directly. 9/21/2017
Touting the economic and energy benefits of wind farms that have already been approved and constructed in his northwestern Ohio district, Senator Hite said in this news release: “The current policy is contrary to Ohio’s reputation as a business-friendly environment and an energy-producing state. It prevents businesses with an interest in gaining access to and investing in wind energy in Ohio from doing so.” 9/21/2017
AEP and Vadata, Inc. (an affiliate of Amazon Web Services) filed a joint application for a Unique Economic Development Arrangement as part of Vadata’s plan to build and operate “cloud computing data centers” at three Ohio locations.
The arrangement proposes to significantly discount the amount that Vadata must pay under riders that are calculated on a kWh basis, with the discounts escalating as Vadata develops more data centers, and to exempt Vadata completely from the obligation to pay other riders.
Although the arrangement purports to offer Vadata these incentives without requiring other AEP customers to pay forgone revenue, the arrangement will likely shift revenue responsibility to other customers paying the same riders.
Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Rover’s request to put Phase 1A of the Rover Pipeline into active operation.
As a result of the approval the pipeline will commence transmission of natural gas services using its 191 mile, 42 inch diameter mainline from Carroll County to Defiance County. A second mainline remains under construction.
FERC also permitted Rover to use 3.5 miles of a 30 inch diameter pipeline in Harrison County and 18.6 miles of 42 inch diameter pipeline connecting Harrison County to Carroll County. 9/7/2017