Will Nuke Plant Owners Ask for Even More Subsidies?

The future is uncertain for Ohio’s two nuclear power plants — with or without the ratepayer-funded subsidies provided by House Bill 6. That’s the takeaway from comments this week by PJM Interconnection’s independent monitor, Joseph Bowring, president of Monitoring Analytics.

Hannah News Service reports that Bowring told the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Governing Board that Ohio’s nuclear plants “could hemorrhage 10% to 20% of their revenue” due to a December action by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Bowring defended FERC’s decision to protect the competitive market. In its ruling, the commission singled out Ohio as a leading proponent of energy subsidies.

If Energy Harbor Corporation (formerly FirstEnergy Solutions) experiences such a loss in revenue due to FERC’s action in response to HB 6, Bowring warned that the utility could return to the General Assembly asking for additional subsidies. OMA energy engineers largely anticipated the FERC ruling to protect wholesale electricity markets. As early as last June, OMA recognized that wholesale market rules could open the door to potential excessive profits for the nuclear power plant owners on the backs of Ohio customers. 1/15/2020