On the Blogs: FirstEnergy’s Double Standard

first_imgOn the Blogs: FirstEnergy’s Double Standard FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Dennis Wamsted at WamstedOnEnergy:These two aging facilities—the Sammis plant’s newest unit is 45 years old while the oldest is 57; the Davis-Besse facility is 39 years old but it has a history of serious maintenance problems—have been battered by the drop in natural gas prices, the influx of new wind and solar generation, and the continued stagnation in overall electricity demand. The battering has been so bad that they essentially can’t compete in the current market, and FirstEnergy is asking state regulators to bail them out while hitting customers with new monthly charges that could run into the billions of dollars over the coming eight years.In its pleadings with the Ohio PUC, FirstEnergy has said the bailout is essential to keep the plants operating, and that the plants, in turn, are needed to maintain reliable, affordable electric supplies in the state—in other words, could I get a little re-regulation here, please.In defending the company’s proposal, Doug Colafella, a FirstEnergy spokesman, told the Toledo Blade: “We like to think of it as an insurance policy against volatility and the future uncertainty of the marketplace. It’s a concept we think will benefit customers because it considers the long-term volatility of the marketplace.”That doesn’t sound at all like the pro-competition track laid down by former CEO Alexander (Remember, “competitive markets, over time, will produce the lowest prices for customers.”) or the pro-competition testimony offered just months ago in Maryland regarding renewables (Remember, “competitive markets, not regulatory mandates, provide the most economical solution….”).Well, the competitive markets have spoken in Ohio (and the broader PJM territory in which FirstEnergy’s generating units operate), and Sammis and Davis-Besse simply can’t compete. This point was driven home by PJM itself in a recent report: “The simple fact that a generating facility cannot earn sufficient market revenue to cover its going-forward costs does not reasonably lead to the conclusion that wholesale markets are flawed,” PJM wrote. “More likely, it demonstrates that the generating facility is uneconomic.”It’s time for FirstEnergy to stand by its competitive mantra and close those two plants, not seek to soak its customers for billions for plants that are no longer economic.Full item: FirstEnergy Fails the Test on Utility Competition With Its Bailout Bidlast_img read more

Pennsylvania Tops EPA List of State Government Entities Using Green Power, Ranks 26th Overall Among All Green Power Users

first_img Energy,  Environment,  Government That Works,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the highest-ranking state government user of green power on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) National Top 100 list of the largest green power users from the Green Power Partnership.   The state ranks 26th overall among all users of green power.Green power is zero-emissions electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps build demand for the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps users reduce their carbon footprints.“To be recognized by the EPA for our commitment to using green power shows how dedicated we are to creating a “Government that works” for its citizens through finding ways to improve the economy, while at the same promoting environmental sustainability,” Governor Wolf said. “In addition to reducing our carbon footprint, we were able to increase our bottom line by saving $2 million through the competitive bidding of the commonwealth’s electricity.”In December of 2015 and February 2016, the commonwealth competitively bid and awarded the supply of 243,985 megawatt hours (MWh) of Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) to be provided annually for calendar years 2016 and 2017. The quantities of RECs represent roughly 30% of the annual electricity usage for commonwealth’s owned building inventory.The funds dedicated to this purchase were made possible by more than $2 million in annual cost reductions achieved for calendar years 2016 to 2019 through Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services’ efforts to competitively procure electricity for commonwealth agencies in several bid events conducted during the fall of 2015.“We have a responsibility to the taxpayers of Pennsylvania to ensure that we are being proper stewards of state funds,” Governor Wolf noted. “We also have a responsibility to our children and future generations to properly use and preserve our planet’s resources. By committing to – and using – green power, we are able to accomplish both of those responsibilities.”The nearly 244 million kilowatt-hours of RECs is the equivalent to the annual power usage of 22,000 average American homes.The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has nearly 1,400 Partner organizations voluntarily using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies; small and medium sized businesses; local, state, and federal governments; and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Pennsylvania Tops EPA List of State Government Entities Using Green Power, Ranks 26th Overall Among All Green Power Userscenter_img April 25, 2016last_img read more