Power Purchase Agreement

Photo of a FirstEnergy coal power plant
FIRST ENERGY / WIKIPEDIA

NOTE: This is the third of three stories examining Ohio's environmental and energy future.  

Ohio’s largest energy companies are trying to figure out what they’re going to do with their coal power plants as they navigate through a vital time in the utilities industry. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow explores the different paths those utilities can take and what that means for Ohio residents.

Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis logo
Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

 A new study is providing more ammunition for opponents against the so-called coal plant bailout proposed by two electric utilities. 

The report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis , or IEEFA, says FirstEnergy’s plan to guarantee a profit for their struggling coal plants would cost consumers $4 billion.

photo of Bill Ridmann
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Hearings have ended and now it’s up to state regulators to decide if the so-called coal plant bailout for two electric utilities should be approved. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

FirstEnergy and AEP say adding a charge to customers’ monthly bills in order to guarantee income for struggling coal plants will stabilize costs and ensure grid stability. Opponents say this is an unnecessary bailout that helps ineffective and dirty coal plants.

photo of Sammis power plant
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Utilities, energy officials and environmental advocates are all debating a landmark proposition that would set the stage for the future of energy in Ohio. And as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, for the average consumer, this could mean paying hundreds of dollars more on electric bills.

Who should be paying to keep inefficient power plants that don’t do very well in the market afloat: The utility company or its customers?

That’s the question these proposals, known as power purchase agreements, come down to.