Monday, July 22nd Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine said he hoped the Ohio lawmakers could agree on a bill that would rescue the state’s two nuclear plants – if passed – he said he would sign it into law.
The proposal, currently before the House for final approval after the Senate’s changes, would tack on an 85-cent fee to Ohioans monthly electric bills and higher rates for commercial and industrial users to generate ~$150 million to subsidize Ohio’s two nuclear plants (Davis-Besse & Perry) and provide $20 million for future solar farms. It also allows charges of up to $1.50 / month to subsidize Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) coal plants – Kyger Creek (Gallia County, Ohio) and Clifty Creek (Madison, IN). The Senate claims that ultimately the revised bill will bring down rates by reducing the renewable energy standards – from 12.5% of renewable energy sources by 2026 – to 8.5% by 2020, ending the energy efficiency mandate 6 years earlier. In addition, with a last-minute change, the bill would delay these new charges and subsidies for one year.
The House Speaker, Larry Householder, believes he has the votes to pass it this time, as it failed to pass last week due to the absence of several House members that had voted for it in the past. “We’re gonna talk to those four legislators and find out where they’re at. I have not gotten any indication that they’re against it so I think those four votes will be enough to get it over the top,” Householder said.
Householder would like to vote on this again – as soon as possible – as each day of delay impacts Davis Besse’s availability this winter. Davis-Besse refuels ever two years, and the next refueling is due in February 2020. It takes eight months to fabricate the fuel needed for Davis-Besse, so each day of delay could have a dramatic impact!
You might recall the Polar Vortex last winter, when Davis-Besse and Perry provided power to ~1.7 million Ohioan homes without disruption! GTTSi employees (Christine McKim, Steve Betts, and Larry Gentry) were at the forefront making their contribution to this achievement.
FirstEnergy Solutions, which owns the nuclear plants, plans to shut down Davis-Besse this year and Perry by the end of 2021, unless lawmakers can find a way to provide subsidies to offset their losses.