As Ohio Senate nears vote on nuke subsidy bill, PJM finds closing plants could save $1.6B
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and Ohio Consumers’ Counsel requested the PJM report to illustrate the impacts of nuclear plant retirements on both market prices and emissions.
The focus was on giving the utilities and energy commission “unbiased data and facts” on the grid’s status, Asim Haque, executive director of PJM, said in his testimony.
But critics say the report gave an inaccurate picture, because it didn’t factor in a number of changes the bill would make, including eliminating Ohio’s green energy mandate, which drives utility procurement of renewables in the state, as well as the nuclear subsidies, which are expected to cost $190 million annually through 2026.
“PJM assumes the same level of wind, solar, and energy efficiency investments in all of its scenarios. However, they do not include the impacts of OH House Bill 6, which would rollback the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards,” Steve Clemmer, director of clean energy research at the Union of Concerned Scientists, who wrote a blog criticizing the Ohio bill, told Utility Dive in an email.
“[T]his could result in [an] increase in consumer energy bills because they would no longer benefit from the energy bill savings from energy efficiency programs or investing directly in rooftop solar. It could also result in a net increase [in] emissions and net loss in jobs in Ohio over time as they would likely build more natural gas generation instead of investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy,” he said.