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AEP Ohio Weighs in on Pick for PUCO Chairman

photo of solar panels
Supporters of a proposed AEP solar farm have voiced concerns about the new PUCO chairman appointment.

The panel of state regulators that reviews utility rates will soon have a new leader who has a history of opposing renewable energy issues. This is causing concerns for supporters of a proposed solar farm from AEP.

Sam Randazzo’s appointment to chair the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio sent up red flags to supporters of AEP’s 400 megawatt solar farm.

Randazzo’s former group, Industrial Energy Users-Ohio, is against the proposal.

AEP Ohio Vice President Marc Reitter said Randazzo is smart and experienced, and Reitter hopes he gives their proposal a fair shot.

“He’ll evaluate the record and I think he’ll find that these projects offer economic hope to a part of the state that I think has been left behind. And I think he’ll find merit in that," Reitter said.

AEP said there’s a need for this solar farm in Highland County based on fuel diversity, carbon reduction, and economic development for Appalachia.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.