Whereas PUCO staff has recommended denial of FirstEnergy’s rider proposal, a “virtual” power purchase agreement that could cost customers $3.6 billion, staff has recommended the creation of a “distribution modernization rider” that would allow FirstEnergy to annually recover $131 million per year from customers over the next three years, with a potential two year extension.
One of the stated purposes of staff’s proposal is to enable FirstEnergy to maintain an investment grade rating.
Testifying before the PUCO last week on behalf of the OMA Energy Group, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Vice President, Treasurer, Tom Lause, said: “… The corporate bailout proposed by Staff will actually diminish diversity of supply and suppliers and limit consumers’ effective choices over the selection of those supplies and suppliers over the longer term. … The Commission should allow the competitive markets to work and not provide competitive advantages to certain generators.
“… Currently, it is my understanding that there are significant new generation resources scheduled to come online and a healthy capacity reserve margin in the PJM market; therefore, there is no need to raise funds to support one generator’s business over another.
“… Rather than receive a bailout from customers under the Staff’s Proposal, FirstEnergy Corp., similar to all other public companies, should be required to consider and make financial business decisions that would allow it to sustain an investment grade credit rating. …”