PUCO Rejects AEP Cost Recovery Plan
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has rejected Columbus-based American Electric Power's proposal to guarantee profitability from two of its aging coal-fired plants. The commission says the plan is legal but would not benefit customers in the long run. Commissioners declined to authorize the plan to allow AEP to raise rates to cover the costs of generating electricity from the company's share of the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation, which includes power plants in southeastern Ohio and southeastern Indiana. National environmental groups and consumer advocates like Dave Rinebolt with Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy had urged regulators to reject the idea, arguing that it was a bailout. The commission said it would approve such deals if they provide stability in a volatile market, but Rinebolt argues there is no guarantee rates will remain steady.
Akron-based FirstEnergy has filed a similar proposal for the Davis Bessie nuclear power plant and the Sammis coal-fired plant. A-E-P has also filed to have customers subsidize five other power plants.