FERC Intercedes in Proposed Bailout of Ohio Utilities

first_imgFERC Intercedes in Proposed Bailout of Ohio Utilities FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Dan Gearino for the Columbus Dispatch:Federal regulators dealt a blow to Ohio utility profit guarantees on Wednesday, saying the plans cannot go into effect until after a review of whether federal rules are being violated. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asserted its authority in a pair of orders, finding that the plans are not valid unless American Electric Power and FirstEnergy apply for, and receive, approval from the agency.The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved the eight-year profit guarantees late last month, allowing Columbus-based AEP and Akron-based FirstEnergy to receive benefits for selected power plants that might otherwise close.Until Wednesday, it was not known whether the federal commission would intercede.A key issue in the federal complaint is whether AEP and FirstEnergy customers are “captive,” in that they have no choice but to cover costs related to the plans. The PUCO and the Ohio companies said customers are not captive because they continue be able to choose an alternative provider in the state’s open market.The federal commission disagreed, stating that “AEP Ohio retail ratepayers are nonetheless captive in that they have no choice as to payment of the non-bypassable generation-related charges” embedded in the profit guarantees. Opponents of the plans say that wording shows that the Ohio companies are facing a highly skeptical audience in the federal commission, as opposed to the more friendly panel in Ohio.Full article: Federal agency says it must OK profit guarantees for AEP, FirstEnergylast_img

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