The Business Energy Edge

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Ohio Manufacturers Oppose AEP Plan

Ohio’s electric power market continues to be hotly debated. Two Ohio utilities, which at one time supported energy deregulation, and its resultant competitive pricing, are now expressing a change of heart.

FirstEnergy Corp., and most recently, Columbus-based AEP, are intent on reregulating by seeking a subsidy for their outdated power plants. The utilities are seeking long-term power purchase agreements to allow their less efficient power plants to continue running. If the subsidy passes, the utilities would ultimately shift the financial risk of operating their plants on to their customers.

Ohio companies in opposition to this proposal argue that such a move would significantly stunt the growth of the energy industry as a whole, which currently promotes competition, rewards efficiency, and thrives on innovation. Representatives at AEP argue that the state’s growing electricity demand requires the survival of these high-capacity power plants. The AEP hearing is set to begin on September 28.

Read more about opposition to the proposal at ColumbusBusinessFirst.com.

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PJM Capacity Performance Filing

In mid-April, we told you about a proposal PJM gave to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recommending an adjustment to the compensation of electric generators during periods of peak demand. On June 10th, FERC approved this Capacity Performance proposal, much to the opposition of IGS Energy and a number of other parties.

Additional details regarding the cost and implementation of the proposal were finalized within the past few weeks. As expected, beginning in June of 2016 and over a 2-year span, PJM will transfer several billion dollars to electric generators at the expense of every residential, commercial, and industrial customer in its jurisdiction. The financial impact on each customer’s energy invoice will vary based on size and usage profile, but the typical customer can expect to see a cost increase between $.002-$.004 per kWh.

We will continue to monitor the situation and hold our position against this proposal, contacting you as we learn more. In the meantime, more specifics about the implications can be found here.

 

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Ohio State Outreach Program Helps Inform Solar Decisions

While free, clean, and renewable energy should pique anyone’s interest, governmental limitations and hefty upfront costs have slowed solar’s progress in Ohio. Thankfully, The Ohio State University has a lab to speak to that.

OSU’s Stone Lab—with its 44 Photovoltaic testing panels—proves that there is more to the financial analysis than meets the eye. Field specialist Eric Romich’s goal is to provide businesses a truly comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of installing a solar panel system. Data from OSU’s Lake Erie lab serves to ease investor uneasiness with regards to any solar panel purchase.

This data will be crucial when evaluating Ohio’s two-year legislative freeze on the state’s renewable portfolio standard. This freeze has brought the market for solar renewable energy credits (SRECs), a significant revenue stream for solar producers, to an historical low. Despite limitations, Ohio still ranked 20th among all states with 15 megawatts of solar energy capacity installed in 2014.

Check out the full story at MidwestEnergyNews.com.

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