PUCO Approves Controversial Utility Affiliate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)


This week, the five-member Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) convened a special Thursday meeting to approve two proposals, advanced by AEP and FirstEnergy, to implement new non-bypassable riders and other cost-driving provisions. With the approval of these deals, AEP and FirstEnergy will be able to collect costs from all their customers to subsidize uneconomical generation assets, thus placing all operating risk onto their customers, while guaranteeing their profits.  Their customers will be saddled with the riders for a term of eight years. OMA estimates cost impacts to manufacturers will range from tens of thousands of dollars to tens of millions of dollars, depending on the amount of electricity consumed. Because the deregulated electricity market in Ohio has been working to lower costs and spur innovative, new products, the OMA Energy Group has opposed the PPA proposals in the PUCO proceedings.  Many industry leaders have independently expressed concerns to the PUCO. The OMA Energy Group has filed a compaint before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to prevent the ruling from going into effect.