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Timely Updates for Industrial Energy Customers

Manufacturers are Ohio’s largest block of energy customers. That’s why the OMA devotes much time and focus to energy developments, including legislation and regulatory proceedings.

As part of its mission to protect and grow Ohio manufacturing, the OMA organizes an annual energy conference and offers members the opportunity to join the OMA Energy Group, which provides special services to energy-intense manufacturers.

Once they have joined the OMA Energy Management Community, members can count on the latest information and expert analysis and guidance regarding industrial energy solutions, regulations, and state and federal developments.

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Energy News and Analysis
July 12, 2024

This week, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved an unopposed settlement agreement with AEP, requiring the company to adopt stronger reliability standards.

The changes come in the form of decreasing the System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI), which is the average number of interruptions per customer, lowering it from 1.18 to 1.13.

The OMA was the only C&I involved in the case, bringing a win for customers to ensure fewer outages and more grid reliability. The standards will take effect in Jan. 2025. The full agreement can be found here. 7/10/2024

June 27, 2024

The Federal Energy Advocate (FEA) at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider sweeping rules adopted in May to shore-up long-term transmission projects at the expense of reliability and costs to consumers, Gongwer reports.

The Ohio FEA argued that the rule requires transmission providers to adopt and maintain a 20-year planning horizon when vetting future facilities without seeking state support and without consideration of how those projects will improve reliability at reasonable rates to consumers. The FEA argued that the result will be a transmission grid that is “not built primarily for reliability but to meet political and corporate goals.” 6/25/2024

June 27, 2024

In a recent Cleveland.com editorial, former PUCO Chairman Todd Snitchler shines a light on the myth that re-regulation of energy markets would improve energy reliability.

Snitchler notes that a market-driven energy sector has every advantage over utility-owned. Most notably, that a market-driven energy sector has every incentive to not only be reliable, but also keep rates low, or risk losing to a competitor.

The OMA agrees with Snitchler that markets, not government, should drive innovation, competition, and value. Read more on the history of energy deregulation, the dangers of re-regulation, and why the free market is best suited to solve problems in RetoolingOhio.

6/26/2024

June 27, 2024

This week, the House passed House Bill 79 to empower electric utilities at the expense of customers under the guise of boosting energy efficiency. Under the bill, electric utilities are given new authority to control renewable energy plants they do not own, including the ability to override and shut down competitively owned generation without the owner’s consent. This could include manufacturer-sited renewable energy and other intermittent resources.

The OMA expressed concern with the bill to the House Public Utilities Committee last year prior to its passage. 6/27/2024

June 21, 2024

Recently released text messages between then-Attorney General Mike DeWine and FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones reveal DeWine soliciting financial support from FirstEnergy in his 2018 bid for Governor.

Jones forwarded the request to Mike Dowling, then a vice-president at FirstEnergy, who wired the funds. Both Jones and Dowling were indicted earlier this year on bribery charges related to the House Bill 6 scandal. 6/17/2024

June 17, 2024

Senator Sherrod Brown this week announced his support of a resolution halting the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan 2.0, imposing strict emission requirements on coal and gas-fired power plants. “We applaud the leadership of Sen. Sherrod Brown for supporting the effort to repeal the Clean Power Plan 2.0,” OMA President Ryan Augsburger said in a statement this week. “This policy and its unobtainable standards would hamstring new competitive natural gas power plants, reduce production, discourage investment in new generation, and reduce grid reliability.” The resolution, introduced in both chambers, has support from 182 total members of Congress, including Ohio Senator J.D. Vance, and Congressman Troy Balderson (OH-12), who introduced the resolution in the House. 6/12/2024

June 7, 2024

Duke Energy, AEP Ohio and AES Ohio are seeking to update their Legacy Generation Rider rates with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Meanwhile, Ohioans have already paid nearly $500 million in total subsidies to OVEC’s utility owners, and recent filings by electric utilities show that Ohio ratepayers may be on the hook for approximately $93.6 million more in the second half of 2024. The OMA has supported efforts to repeal the OVEC rider and put an end to the unnecessary energy tax it imposes on Ohio manufacturers. 5/22/2024

June 7, 2024

The OMA this week signaled support for a resolution from Congressman Troy Balderson (OH-12) that would overturn the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan 2.0, which imposes unrealistic emission requirements on coal and gas-fired power plants. The resolution includes 138 House members co-sponsoring, with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introducing a companion resolution in the U.S. Senate. 6/5/2024

May 30, 2024

The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) this week called into question the transparency and ethics of FirstEnergy after failing to turn over the results of an internal investigation regarding House Bill 6. The OCC cited a May 6 overrule of FirstEnergy’s objection to compel it to produce materials related to their investigation. While FirstEnergy has promoted its change in leadership and new ethics initiatives as a result of the investigation, the company is still appealing the order to release its findings. 5/28/2024

May 30, 2024

The Biden-Harris Administration announced measures to support the development of new U.S. nuclear power plants. The list of action items are aimed at helping the nuclear power industry provide emissions-free power to serve demand while still meeting President Biden’s goal of decarbonizing the U.S. economy by 2050. The White House Fact Sheet released this week describes components of the new plan, including: the creation of a Nuclear Power Project Management and Delivery working group, a deployment program for advanced reactors to power multiple Army sites across the nation, and a primer from the U.S. Department of Energy highlighting the expected enhanced safety of advanced nuclear reactors. 5/30/2024

May 30, 2024

Last week, the OMA issued a new edition of RetoolingOhio to frame up an effort to end deregulation of power generation, a move that would be disastrous for Ohio’s free market in electricity. Utilities have been stoking a scare that electric demand will outstrip electric supply in a few short years leading to widespread reliability concerns. The OMA is among the most vocal advocates for reliable power, but that power also needs to be affordable, illuminating the need for greater transparency in utility regulation. The OMA has been the leading defenders of market-based energy solutions. Read RetoolingOhio and stay engaged in the OMA energy committee. Also, mark your calendars for the Ohio Manufacturers’ Energy Conference on September 19. 5/30/2024

May 23, 2024

This week, OMA Energy Consultant John Seryak testified before the Ohio House Energy Committee on House Bill 197, which would establish community solar pilot and solar development programs. In his testimony, Seryak points out key details the bill fails to address, mainly, the lack of aligning bill credits with the value of the reduced load on the local transmission system. 5/22/2024

May 17, 2024

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released guidance for the second round of Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit Applications. These credits are for owners of clean energy manufacturing and recycling projects, greenhouse gas emission reduction projects, and critical material projects. The program, which allows for applications for up to $6 billion in allocations, functions like a competitive grant. 5/15/2024

May 17, 2024

RunnerStone LLC, OMA’s energy engineering consultant, has published a memo describing changes approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to PJM’s capacity market. PJM’s capacity market has two objectives: one being to procure a sufficient amount of generation capacity for each year through a competitive auction and the other being to provide resource adequacy and reliability on a long-term basis at a reasonable cost. The approved changes will begin for the 2025/26 electricity delivery year, and consist of changes to system resource adequacy modeling, generation technology accreditation, and testing requirements. 5/15/2024

May 10, 2024

This week, the House passed House Bill 264, expanding eligibility for renewable energy credits to include waste energy recovery systems. 5/8/2024

May 10, 2024

The Ohio House Public Utilities Committee is currently considering House Bill 260, which proposes to add more charges to customers’ electric bills through new distribution riders while decreasing consumer protections. The OMA submitted testimony this week to oppose the bill, which would be a windfall for Ohio utilities at the expense of Ohio manufacturers. 5/8/2024

May 10, 2024

Members of the OMA energy committee heard presentations touching on the potential for future electric generation adequacy. Today, there is more than enough generation within the PJM system to serve Ohio’s needs. OMA-commissioned research suggests the future demand shortages are overstated. Grid operators have significant tools to forecast and plan for generation adequacy primarily using market signals. The recently finalized U.S. EPA restrictions on power plant emissions will send a counter-productive signal to would-be investors in new natural gas fueled power plants. The OMA is calling on the U.S. EPA to delay implementation of the regulations. 5/8/2024

May 10, 2024

This week, the OMA Energy Committee met at the OMA offices. Highlights from the packed agenda included:

  • Special guest, Jenifer French, Chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio;
  • An update on the ongoing electric reliability scare;
  • Discussion of pending energy legislation;
  • Review of PJM’s capacity auction changes;
  • Updates on Ohio’s electric utility load forecasts; and
  • Discussion electric and natural gas pricing trends.

Save the date for the OMA Energy Conference on September 19. 5/8/2024

May 3, 2024

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) recently finalized its rule to limit power plant emissions, updating section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. Under the regulations, existing coal and new natural gas-fired power plants that run more than 40% of the time would have to eliminate 90% of their carbon dioxide emissions. The rule was among four measures targeting coal and natural gas plants that the EPA said would provide “regulatory certainty” to the power industry and encourage them to make investments to transition “to a clean energy economy.” By including burdensome emissions limitations on new natural gas power plants, this rule will send a counterproductive signal to potential power plant operators in the nation. The EPA is countering criticism of the rule by claiming electricity costs will stay in check, and reliability maintained, due to tax incentives and funding from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for carbon capture and sequestration technology. 4/23/2024

May 3, 2024

The OMA Energy Committee will meet next week with special guest PUCO Chair Jenifer French. Topics include:

  • An update on the ongoing electric reliability scare;
  • Review of PJM’s capacity auction changes;
  • Discussion of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) reliability;
  • Updates on Ohio’s electric utility load forecasts;
  • Energy siting amicus activity; and
  • Pending energy legislation.

Please join us in person to enjoy a networking lunch provided by the OMA. 5/1/2024

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