FirstEnergy

photo of Perry Nuclear Plant
JERRY SHARP / SHUTTERSTOCK

One of Ohio’s largest utilities is once again going to state lawmakers for a way to get a boost for its struggling power plants. 

FirstEnergy wants state lawmakers to give it the ability to charge its customers about $5 more a month. The utility’s Jennifer Young says the company's struggling nuclear plants deserve a subsidy for emitting zero carbon.

“It’s the best interest of communities in the state, and while there may be a small premium for that we think that is the right thing to do.”

Ohio RIver near plant site
CC BY 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50015749 / Wikipedia

The decision on whether to build a multi-billion-dollar cracker plant in eastern Ohio is expected by the end of March and key environmental permits may already be in place.

photo of PUCO logo
PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF OHIO

For the next month, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is fielding applications for two open positions on the five-person board.

Commissioner Lynn Slaby – a former Summit County Prosecutor – will end his term in April, and Columbus lawyer Howard Petricoff resigned – effective December 31-- after a senate nominating committee declined to recommend him for the post.

photo of FirstEnergy building
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

One of Ohio’s largest energy companies could be closing or selling all of its power plants within the next two years.

FirstEnergy, given the current economic and regulatory climate, is reviewing what to do with its coal and nuclear plants. It says it has three options: sell the plants, close them or keep them under the condition that the state changes its regulatory framework.

First Energy Headquarters
Tim Rudell / WKSU

FirstEnergy is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of people stealing overhead wires in the Cleveland area. The thieves are posing as utility workers, knocking on residents’ doors, and telling them not to call when their power goes out.

FirstEnergy spokesman Mark Durbin says the theft is more than just inconvenient.

“They’re creating very dangerous situations by potentially having live wires on the ground, not to mention that the power is out for the people who had the wires chopped out outside their house.”

First Energy Headquarters
Tim Rudell / WKSU

FirstEnergy is considering moving away from its competitive-market power-generation businesses and back to being a fully regulated utility.  Could such a change make the Akron-based Corporation vulnerable to a takeover?  

Probably not, says Barry Abramson, a senior analyst with Saber Partners energy industry consulting firm in New York. 

DAVID OHMER / FLICKR CC

One week after a surprise split with its major electricity supplier, a non-profit energy aggregator serving half-a-million Ohioans says it’s found a replacement.

The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council or NOPEC negotiates discounted energy contracts for 200 communities across 13 Northern Ohio counties.

photo of Summit County Veterans Services logo
SUMMIT COUNTY VETERANS SERVICES

Summit County leaders are donating $20,000 to a group that supports homeless and poor veterans.

Stand Down for Veterans has been looking for donations after a warehouse fire in New Jersey destroyed most of their supplies in February.

County Executive Ilene Shapiro and FirstEnergy Foundation President Dee Lowery presented the donations today at the Summit County Veterans Service Commission.

photo of Sammis plant
FIRSTENERGY

Akron-based FirstEnergy says it plans to close 856 of its 2346 megawatts of coal power capacity in Ohio by the year 2020.  Four of the seven boilers at the Sammis power plant near Steubenville would close under the plan, while the Bay Shore plant near Toledo would close if a buyer isn't found.

The company says the facilities are no longer able to compete against gas-fired plants.

photo of FirstEnergy building
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

NOTE: This is the second of three stories examining Ohio's environmental and energy future. 

A decision to block a plan that would’ve guaranteed profits for struggling coal plants in Ohio may have created a domino effect for the future of energy in the state.

In part two of a three-part series, Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow takes a look at the history of deregulation in Ohio and the bombshell suggestion to reverse course.

photo of Cathy Cowan
ANDY CHOW / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

Note: This is the first of three stories examining Ohio's environmental and energy future.  

Something as simple as flipping a switch can turn the lights on and off in your home. But many major complicated decisions take place in order to keep those lights on.

As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, these decisions have reached a critical point that could change the landscape of the energy industry in Ohio.

AEP photo of transmission lines
AEP

 State officials, utilities and other groups have worked on deregulating the energy market in Ohio for more than a decade. Now two major utility companies want to go back toward re-regulation after the feds nixed their temporary rate-hike plan.

photo of power transmission lines
WIKIMEDIA

It’s not every day that a group known for defending the free market celebrates federal intervention. But a conservative group in Ohio is saying the feds made the right choice by blocking a temporary rate hike plan from AEP and FirstEnergy.  

photo of FirstEnergy building
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Federal regulators have blocked Akron-based FirstEnergy and Columbus-based American Electric Power from imposing controversial rate hikes  on customers to bring in money for struggling coal and nuclear plants.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says the deals that state regulators approved last month for FirstEnergy and AEP aren’t valid unless they get federal approval. Among those celebrating is Todd Snitchler, who’s with a group of electricity generators that opposed the utilities plans.

Photo of Akron
Tim Rudell / WKSU

FirstEnergy is saying: “Switch-2-Green-4-Free.” That’s both the name of a renewable-energy credit purchasing plan it is rolling out for residential customers, and how the program works.  

photo of Sammis plant
FIRSTENERGY

Ohioans could see a new charge on their electric bills as early as June, now that state regulators have approved plans by FirstEnergy and AEP to guarantee income for struggling coal plants. But opponents of the costs say the fight isn’t over. 

FIRSTENERGY

Ohio regulators have approved a pair of deals that allow utilities FirstEnergy and AEP to impose multi-billion-dollar rate increases on electricity customers to subsidize older coal-fired and nuclear power plants.  

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio unanimously passed the power purchase agreements 5- 0, which the companies say have clear benefits to the companies and to consumers.

Photo of a FirstEnergy coal power plant
FIRST ENERGY / WIKIPEDIA

A vote is set for tomorrow on plans from FirstEnergy and AEP that is estimated to hike customers’ electricity bills by nearly $6 billion over eight years and to generate guaranteed income for struggling coal plants.  

Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis logo
Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

 A new study is providing more ammunition for opponents against the so-called coal plant bailout proposed by two electric utilities. 

The report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis , or IEEFA, says FirstEnergy’s plan to guarantee a profit for their struggling coal plants would cost consumers $4 billion.

photo of Bill Ridmann
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Hearings have ended and now it’s up to state regulators to decide if the so-called coal plant bailout for two electric utilities should be approved. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

FirstEnergy and AEP say adding a charge to customers’ monthly bills in order to guarantee income for struggling coal plants will stabilize costs and ensure grid stability. Opponents say this is an unnecessary bailout that helps ineffective and dirty coal plants.

Photo of a FirstEnergy coal power plant
FIRST ENERGY / WIKIPEDIA

Utilities FirstEnergy and AEP want state regulators to approve plans that allow them to hike their customers’ bills to ensure energy production and guarantee income for their struggling coal plants.

But as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, a new energy player wants to crash the party.

 

photo of Sammis power plant
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Utilities, energy officials and environmental advocates are all debating a landmark proposition that would set the stage for the future of energy in Ohio. And as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, for the average consumer, this could mean paying hundreds of dollars more on electric bills.

Who should be paying to keep inefficient power plants that don’t do very well in the market afloat: The utility company or its customers?

That’s the question these proposals, known as power purchase agreements, come down to.

Protesters' photo
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

  State leaders started 2015 with several important issues to tackle in the energy industry. And heading into 2016, many of those questions remain unanswered. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports on what’s coming in the year ahead.

The future of green energy in Ohio dangled all year as lawmakers discussed what should happen to the state’s policies that encourage the use of renewables.

Kasich
ANDY CHOW / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

State officials could soon decide if some electric utility customers see a hike in their bills to keep coal plants running. Now Gov. John Kasich is offering his thoughts on the issue. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is looking over what’s known as power-purchase agreements proposed by AEP and FirstEnergy. These essentially guarantee a profit for their coal plants regardless of their value in the market.

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