FirstEnergy Solutions Excused from OVEC Liability

The Ohio electric utility companies and/or their parent companies have a goal to obtain a bailout for an uneconomic coal power plant known as OVEC (Ohio Valley Electric Corporation). The bailout would be financed by electric customers.

Akron-based FirstEnergy’s ownership share of OVEC was transferred to its now-bankrupt affiliate company, FirstEnergy Solutions (FES). This week the federal judge handling the bankruptcy case granted FES’s request to be exempted from OVEC operating liabilities meaning remaining OVEC owners, including AEP, will now shoulder additional liability.

Ohio’s residential customer advocate, the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, urged the court to deny FES’s request to be excused from the contract on the grounds that electric customers could end up paying more.

If the Ohio operating companies that are OVEC owners are forced to make up the difference for FES’s share of the OVEC operating costs, Ohio consumers could pay more as the PUCO has currently granted AEP authority to recover its net OVEC operating costs from its Ohio customers. Similar cost recovery approval has been requested and is pending before the PUCO for Duke and DP&L.

The OMA has been the leading business advocate opposing OVEC bailouts. 8/2/2018