Dynegy, PJM pile on in case against Ohio ‘bailout’ proposals
As Ohio regulators prepare to resume testimony on FirstEnergy’s bid to have all utility customers guarantee sales for certain power plants, another competitor says it can offer a better deal.
On Tuesday, Houston-based Dynegy offered to beat the costs in both FirstEnergy’s and AEP’s pending cases, which it calls “exorbitant and counter-productive subsidies,” by $2.5 billion each over the proposed eight-year settlement terms.
That proposal followed a commitment made two weeks ago by Chicago-based Exelon Corporation to provide the same amount of energy for $2 billion less with resources whose emissions would be 100 percent carbon-free.
“Dynegy agrees with Exelon that this process should be competitive,” Dynegy president and CEO Robert Flexon said in a prepared statement when his company’s plan was announced on Tuesday.
“We believe the counter-proposals are uniformly better for Ohio consumers and businesses than the AEP and FirstEnergy [plans], keeping and creating jobs in the state that stimulate economic growth and development rather than weakening Ohio’s competitive position,” Flexon added. “We ask for serious consideration from the PUCO and Ohio elected and state officials for our proposals.”
Meanwhile, additional information questioning the plan has been produced and filed by grid operator PJM Interconnection.
“The business case against the bailout has become particularly stronger” as a result, said Dick Munson of the Environmental Defense Fund, which also opposes FirstEnergy’s plan.
FirstEnergy’s revised plan would have its regulated utilities buy all the output from the Davis-Besse nuclear plant, the W.H. Sammis coal plant, and FirstEnergy’s share of power from two 1950’s era coal plants.
The utilities would resell the electricity in the competitive market, and distribution customers would pay any shortfall or get a credit for the difference between the resale price and the contract price. That price includes a guaranteed rate of return for FirstEnergy Solutions.
The proposed settlement that was filed last month would shorten the term to eight years instead of the original 15. Yet even the revised plan would boost a typical residential customer’s bill as much as $130 per year, according to the Office of the Ohio Consumer’s Counsel (OCC).