State Regulators Take Dim View of Customer Subsidized Renewables

Last week the staff of the PUCO filed comments opposing AEP Ohio’s application to charge customers for the development of 900 megawatts of renewable energy. Under the plan, all customers, even customers who purchase power competitively, would have to pay a new charge if they are in the AEP service territory.

The staff found that competitive markets are adequately supplying capacity and energy to meet the needs of AEP’s customers and, therefore, the project is not needed for reliability. The PUCO also expressed concern that requiring customers to subsidize a utility’s renewable generation activity would jeopardize competitive suppliers who are investing in renewable energy to serve customer demand for renewable energy.

While supportive of all forms of generation and fuel sources, the OMA has been an active opponent to the anti-competitive proposal and welcomes the PUCO staff comments. AEP faced similar concerns from state regulators last year in Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Virginia, locations where the company attempted to rate-base large scale renewable projects, but was denied. 1/17/2019

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