Wind News – Fooling All the People All the TIme

Friends,

 

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY CLEARVIEW SOLAR – On Tuesday, October 6th from 6 to 8 p.m., Clearview Solar will host its first Public Information meeting online.   You must register to attend this meeting and information on registering can be obtained by consulting the attached copy of the Clearview presentation or by visiting the project FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/Clearview-Solar-Project-101347974960171/   or the website for Clearview Solar at https://www.clearviewsolarproject.com/

The attached presentation sets forth what Clearview believes to be adequate setbacks.  They also clearly state that they will be seeking tax abatement through the Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) program.   They claim the land will be ready to revert back to agriculture in forty years…if anyone is still living to hold them to account. (Soon-to-be Commissioner Cassidy will be 91 and Commissioner Hess will be 108.   Commissioner Corbett will be even older    Read it and weep.

Perhaps the worst of all, is the Clearview Project Manager, Samantha Sawmiller, who is introduced as a veteran of the Iraqi war.   What Clearview has left out of this introduction is that Mrs. Sawmiller, a resident of Upper Arlington, is active with Veterans Against Trump and Veterans For Biden.   Presumably the New Green Deal is right up her alley.   Samantha is married to Dan Sawmiller, Ohio Energy Policy Director, Climate & Clean Energy Program with the Natural Resources Defense Council,  The people of Champaign County and NW Ohio have been fighting Sawmiller’s clean energy initiatives for years and years.  As NRDC’s director of energy policy in Ohio, he works with a wide range of energy industry stakeholders to advocate for clean energy and climate policies before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the General Assembly.  More information about Mr. Sawmiller can be found at https://www.nrdc.org/experts/daniel-sawmiller for those who can stomach it.

Adding insult to injury, Clearview proclaims its local bone fides in the following sign:

Champaign County residents who oppose the reinstatement of renewable mandates, the New Green Deal and socialist agenda of the left, should make certain the Champaign County Commissioners reject tax incentives for Clearview Solar!

STATUS OF LEGISLATION IN THE OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY –  the House Select Committee heard from wind developer, EDP Renewables and the director of the Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition.   Reducing wind setbacks and making the PILOT program permanent were two requests.   The renewable developers like to say they are competitive and will bring affordable power to Ohio consumers.  Yet, they continue to demand uncompensated easements from neighboring properties and subsidies granted by local taxing jurisdictions.   They can’t have it both ways.   Articles covering the House hearing are printed below.  The Select Committee has adjourned until after the election.

MADISON PLAINS SOLAR situated near the County Line between Madison and Champaign Counties has scheduled a public hearing regarding Madison Fields Solar Project, LLC’s proposal to construct a solar farm in Madison County. The hearing will be conducted using Cisco Webex, a web-based platform that facilitates participation by telephone or live video on the internet.  The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) will hold the public hearing on Dec. 3, 2020, beginning at 6 p.m. The purpose of the virtual public hearing is to allow residents in the local community, who are not parties to the case, to provide testimony about the project.   More information is included below.  The Public Hearing is different from a Public Information Meeting such as will be held this week for Clearview.

CALIFORNIA LATINOS CRITICAL OF THE SIERRA CLUB took out a full page ad in the CA papers to strike back at the elitists and Hollywood celebrities who support the Governor’s proposal to require all electric cars and other costly green energy plans.  We think this expression of working people is notable.  While this may seem remote to some, we think it is similar to the cries of rural Ohio residents who stand to lose all they have labored for as the land around them is gobbled up by left wing zealots virtue signaling wind and solar deals designed to enrich a few and impoverish the many.

COMPELLING VIDEO – WHAT’S WRONG WITH WIND AND SOLAR?   Can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqppRC37OgI   .  We urge everyone to watch this 6 minute video and to share with your Commissioners and Trustees!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Democrats Question Endgame As House Fields ore House Bill 6 Testimony

A special committee considering a repeal of House Bill 6 has likely finished meeting until after the November election, according to its chair.

That is much to the disappointment of Democrats who continue pressing for a repeal and argue that Thursday is a key deadline for repealing the nuclear subsidy law (HB6) because it marks 90 days before the subsidies kick in Jan. 1.

The House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight Track continued gathering invited feedback Wednesday, weighing how to best address the policy caught up in a $60 million racketeering scandal and a myriad of lawsuits.

After its fourth hearing on a pair of repeal bills (HB 738 & HB 746), Chair Rep. Jim Hoops (R-Napoleon) said the group will probably not reconvene until after the election but that the exact schedule remains undetermined. He said discussions about the path forward will continue among members despite the committee’s hiatus.

“We’re trying to collect all this information that we have heard with the testimony,” Rep. Hoops said. “I also have to talk with the speaker about that and see if there’s something that we need to do to continue on this.”

Rep. Hoops has voiced a desire to hear from PJM’s Independent Market Monitor and he said several other parties have signaled they wish to address the panel. Whether FirstEnergy or Energy Harbor, the beneficiary of up to $150 million a year in nuclear subsidies under HB6, will testify remains an open question.

Rep. Hoops last week said he was unsure whether the companies’ leaders could or would testify given ongoing litigation from shareholders and Attonery General Dave Yost.

A day later, Mr. Yost wrote to Rep. Hoops and his counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Steve Wilson (R-Maineville), to state “there is nothing in Ohio’s civil lawsuit preventing or even hindering company representatives from appearing in public before your committees to answer questions – particularly questions about whether they are in fact, profitable.”

Rep. Hoops said it is still unclear whether the companies believe they can testify given ongoing legal action, but he said whether the two nuclear plants need the financial support remains a key question.

“We could look at delaying the subsidy too,” Rep. Hoops said. “There are just a lot of things out there. If I had my druthers, I’d rather have the audit first to see if they really need it before moving ahead (with the subsidy) if we go that way. Everything is still kind of on the table as far as what we want to do.”

Committee Democrats have repeatedly made motions seeking to report the GOP-backed repeal plan and ranking member Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus), among others, has been vocal in his frustration at the committee’s pace.

“We’ve been doing this for 30 days and Oct. 1, on Thursday, would be the last day we can repeal House Bill 6 without having it going into effect on Jan. 1 and obviously we’re not going to make that,” he said. “What’s the endgame?”

During testimony, Jason Rafeld, executive director for the Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition, said the repeal question is difficult for his members since a handful of them are in line to earn a share of $20 million a year in subsidies through HB6.

Testifying as an interested party, Mr. Rafeld said other members of his group took a financial loss due to the elimination of the renewable energy standards.

“Our members would support a return to the previous RPS because it’s good for the industry,” he said. “However, the projects that qualified to receive benefits from the Renewable Generation Fund have relied on that funding for the projects and do not want the financial support taken away.”

Erin Bowser, director of project management for EDP Renewables, testified for a repeal, calling it an “exciting opportunity” to create a more forward-looking and comprehensive policy. Both she and Mr. Rafeld urged policymakers to be mindful of the messages they are sending the industry in making policy decisions.

“Rather than pit technologies against each other, we encourage the state to leverage the strengths of each and maximize the contributions that can come from various energy sectors,” Ms. Bowser said.

Rep. Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster) asked both witnesses whether wind and solar would be competitive without the renewable standards, which he has argued is a form of subsidy.

Mr. Rafeld said solar would continue to be built, but at a smaller magnitude.

Ms. Bowser said wind will likely not move forward in the state given HB6 and other policy decisions in recent years – such as strengthening wind setbacks – that dampened the market.

“The signal is being sent to my company – that’s invested nearly a billion dollars here – we should probably focus our investment elsewhere,” she said.

Rep. Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) questioned whether the small capacity factors for wind and solar made it more essentially to support legacy resources, which would afford time for renewables to become more competitive.

“Doesn’t it make sense we keep that legacy operational, so we don’t lose ground?” he said.

Ms. Bowser said she does not dispute the need for baseload power given that wind and solar are more intermittent than legacy resources.

“Where I disagree is that we should establish this competitive market-based approach in 2008 along with an RPS that was working and then constantly disrupt and change priorities,” she said.

She agreed with Rep. Rick Carfanga (R-Genoa Twp.) that making the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes statute permanent would send a market signal that could aid in landing wind investment. She told Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) that the current wind setbacks remain a “project killer for our industry.”

Jereme Kent, CEO of OneEnergy, said any “market distorting” subsidies of HB6 should be repealed but he believes the best action is more complex that just a straight repeal. His company testified as a proponent of HB6 during its initial consideration.

He said he supports HB6 language that raised the threshold for Ohio Power Siting Board jurisdiction over wind projects from five megawatts to 20 megawatts, which he said “removed a barrier to investment.” He also opined there is no need to remove “no brainer” provisions on county fair billing and home energy assistance.

But he called the decoupling provision an “erroneous power grab” that must end and argued that a “blind and uncontrolled restarting of the RPS is irresponsible.”

“If HB6 is flat repealed in whole, it will create a huge destabilization and a lot of uncertainty around this market as it corrects itself to get restarted,” he said. “It is likely that a blind restart of the market through a whole repeal of HB6 will create wild swings in market pricing and could create even higher costs for consumers.”

Asked by Rep. Michael O’Brien (D-Warren) about his prior proponent status, Mr. Kent said he testified in favor of an early iteration of HB6 and that he appeared at the request of former speaker Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford). Had he been testifying on the final as-passed version of the law, Mr. Kent said, his testimony may have been different.

Statehouse News

September 30, 2020

Wind, Solar Developers Emphasize ‘Market Signals’ in HB6 Cleanup Efforts

The direction lawmakers take in revisiting the controversial HB6 (Callender-Wilkin) will send important market signals that influence how much renewable energy generation the state will see, wind and solar representatives told the House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight.

Hearings in the committee might be on hiatus until after the election, Chairman Jim Hoops (R-Napoleon) said after the hearing. The panel has plans to open testimony to all comers, after a string of hearings focused on testimony from invited witnesses, as was the case Wednesday, when members heard from Jason Rafeld, executive director of the Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition (USSEC); Erin Bowser, director of project management for EDP Renewables North America, a wind farm developer and operator; and Jereme Kent, CEO of One Energy, installer of on-site wind turbines for commercial and industrial facilities.

The hearing was the fourth for HB6 repeal measures HB746 (Lanese-Greenspan) and HB738 (Skindell-O’Brien). Another bill before the committee, HB740 (Skindell-Denson), proposes changes to the “significantly excessive earnings” test for electric utilities. It has not been on the agenda in more recent hearings, but Hoops said he’d like to see the topic included in House deliberations on what to include in HB6 follow-up legislation.

“That’s going to be in the mix, too, in what we do. I feel that’s something we need to look at also … I don’t know if we’ll have an actual hearing on that bill, but it’s something that’ll be looked at as we move along,” Hoops said.

Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) kicked off the hearing Wednesday by asking Hoops for a sense of direction in the committee’s proceedings, given that any bill changing HB6 would have needed to pass this week in order take effect in time to halt the collection of subsidies from ratepayers, absent inclusion of an emergency clause.

“We’ve been doing this for 30 days, and Oct. 1, on Thursday, would be the last day that we could repeal HB6 without it going into effect Jan. 1. We’re obviously not going to make that,” Leland said.

Hoops said he regards the ongoing hearings as a “fact-finding” opportunity for members and said an emergency clause is a possibility.

“Even though we may not be meeting these next few weeks, the next two or three weeks, we will still be working on this bill,” he said.

Hoops said the House is looking at stronger audit language to determine the need for any subsidy to Ohio’s two nuclear plants, given questions about whether they’re profitable for operator Energy Harbor — formerly FirstEnergy Solutions. He said his preference would be to see an audit before Energy Harbor receives any subsidies, raising the possibility lawmakers could delay when the subsidy charges commence to achieve that.

“I mean, if I had my druthers, I’d rather have the audit first to see if they really need it before moving ahead, if we continue to go that way. Everything is still kind of on the table as far as what we want to do,” he said, also saying the House will discuss the possibility of testimony from FirstEnergy.

Rafeld said HB6 was a mixed bag for USSEC members, with some benefitting from the bill’s solar subsidies but others suffering because of its diminishment of the renewable portfolio standard (RPS).

“Our members would support a return to the previous RPS because it’s good for the industry. However, the projects that qualified to receive benefits from the Renewable Generation Fund have relied on that funding for their projects and do not want the financial support taken away, which is an understandable position. During the HB6 debate, many USSEC members testified sharing comments that they mobilized development activities in Ohio in response to the RPS. They shared the message that the RPS is working and it is a clear signal that Ohio is open for business. During these conversations last spring and summer, the USSEC members were open to tweaking the RPS to ensure that ratepayer dollars support in-state renewables and looking at mechanisms to further mitigate ratepayer costs. These views are still held by a majority of the USSEC members,” he said.

Bowser said the 2008 enactment of the RPS created a surge of wind energy projects, but the HB6 changes and the prior expansion of wind turbine setbacks have stifled new development more recently.

“Just as passage of the RPS was a market signal to attract our capital to Ohio, HB6 sent an equally powerful but opposite message: Ohio is less concerned with new investment in new projects and instead prioritized propping up aging legacy plants. As such, our company has de-emphasized Ohio wind and is pursuing those projects in more promising markets,” she said.

Rep. Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster) asked both witnesses if their respective sectors could operate competitively in Ohio absent subsidies via an RPS.

Rafeld said Ohio will continue to see new solar projects, with his written remarks noting the demand by large corporations to secure carbon-free power sources, but said policy will affect the magnitude of the development Ohio sees.

Bowser said an RPS is a trusted, familiar signal for markets, useful to big investors in gauging the level of certainty in the market. But with the recent change to the RPS, previous changes during the Kasich administration and the turbine setback issue, she does not expect to see more investment, absent a “change in market signals that are coming from the legislative body.”

Rep. Rick Carfagna (R-Westerville) asked Rafeld, given how the RPS required buying energy from out-of-state sources, if it would be better to replace it with incentives for in-state investment that are not targeted to any one power sector. Rafeld said the idea of competitive procurement of in-state, zero-carbon sources is intriguing to USSEC members. But he said the renewables sectors is used to RPS as a mechanism, so more time for study is needed to understand a new concept like what Carfagna suggested.

Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) asked Rafeld how long it would take the pipeline of 17 utility scale solar projects now pending, approved or under construction in Ohio to become operational. Rafeld said three or so years. Smith asked if Ohio would need to purchase renewable energy from out-of-state sources once all that new solar capacity is available. Rafeld said it would depend on the state and federal policies in place at the time, but there would be a much greater potential for the money to stay in Ohio.

Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) said her time in the Legislature has been marked by “an ongoing battle to prevent wind from coming into this state,” asking Bowser why those sentiments prevail.

“Energy is a huge driver in the state of Ohio, it’s one of the reasons why it makes Ohio so attractive for our industry,” Bowser said. “There’s a lot of transmission, there’s a lot of demand. And I think what an RPS does is it creates a pathway to transition your sources of power, and Ohio has been predominantly a fossil fuel-driven power sector forever. A renewable energy standard sets about allowing another new power sector to come in, and I think that’s hard. It’s not something everybody wants.

That said, most states in the country now have a renewable energy standard, most of them are increasing their renewable energy targets and goals, companies like Facebook, Walmart, Amazon, General Motors, Johnson and Johnson — I could go on and on — have very aggressive targets for renewable energy, and I think what we have to decide here in Ohio is, do we want to set out on a conservative and incremental path to diversify? I think we have to.”

Rep. Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) asked Bowser which of three dynamics have the greatest effect on demand for renewable energy: gradually declining costs to produce such energy; RPS; or customer demand. “I’m not sure I can say it’s this one and not the other two, it’s the perfect storm of all of those things,” she said.

Stephens also asked if there will be a “tipping point” where an RPS is no longer required. Bowser said she couldn’t predict that, saying that for now an RPS is the most cost-effective way to supply new power sources to the grid.

Rep. Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) asked if it makes sense to support legacy plants like Ohio’s nuclear facilities in the short term, given the time it would take to build sufficient wind and solar generation to replace the thousands of megawatts they provide. He further emphasized his point by noting the difference between the “nameplate” generating capacity of a solar or wind facility and the actual capacity on a given day.

Bowser said she agrees baseload power sources are important, but said the state needs to work to diversify its energy sources even as it’s supporting legacy operations.

“I don’t think we’re seeing a lot of appetite to build new coal or nuclear facilities in the state, so I think we have to be figuring out how to responsibly, and with the protection of the ratepayers in mind, diversify our supply,” she said.

Support for the RPS was not unanimous among the day’s renewable energy witnesses. Kent said he generally opposes all subsidies and would prefer government do more to “get out of the way” of energy developers, as HB6 did for his company by raising the threshold for triggering Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) jurisdiction on wind energy projects from 5MW to 20MW. Kent explained how One Energy’s “Wind for Industry” projects install megawatt-scale wind turbines on-site, behind the meter, to power large commercial and industrial facilities, in the process giving customers price certainty on electricity for 20 years.

Kent urged the committee to maintain that provision of HB6, as well as administrative language on Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) operations, billing revisions for county fairs and changes to the Home Energy Assistance Program. He said all of them “cost Ohioans nothing, encourage additional investment in manufacturing, and overall are good for the state.” In contrast, he urged the committee to repeal the subsidies for nuclear, coal and solar generators in the bill, as well as decoupling language, which he described as “a random power grab.”

“I do believe the state has a compelling interest in encouraging utilities to act responsibly, to capture the true cost of energy in their current rates, and to make decisions in the best long-term interest of Ohioans, as opposed to those utilities’ shareholders. I think that the state should make it easier for companies like us to invest in energy in this state, especially modern low-carbon solutions without fuel cost risk. I also believe that the state should actively encourage and even, to the extent legally possible, mandate in-state generation sources to protect grid resiliency. I, however, respectfully submit that there are far better ways than the RPS to do so, and that those other ways would cost far less for the Ohio consumer,” he said.

Kent said if the state wants an RPS, it should not simply revert to pre-HB6 law via a straight up repeal, saying that “will create wild swings in market pricing and could create even higher costs for consumers.” He urged careful study and evaluation for how to “responsibly restart the market” if lawmakers decide to unfreeze the RPS.

Committee members asked Kent about his previous testimony in favor of HB6, given his statements opposing subsidies and the “market-distorting mechanism” in the decoupling language. Kent said at that time he’d been asked by the speaker’s office to address whether the bill would accomplish its stated goals and make projects like those his company runs more economical. But he said the bill underwent multiple revisions following his testimony, in the process gaining the decoupling language. “I don’t know that I would have given the same testimony on the final version of the bill,” he said.

Hoops asked if the behind-the-meter status of One Energy’s projects makes them more competitive. Kent said it’s a mix. The relatively smaller projects do not achieve the economies of scale of large wind farms, but the energy is used to offset the customer’s retail rate, rather than having to compete in the wholesale market.

Boggs asked if other companies doing business in Ohio stood to benefit from the change in the megawatt threshold for triggering OPSB jurisdiction. Kent said his company is the largest installer of on-site wind energy in the U.S., though he said language in HB6 will make it easier for electric utilities to compete against the likes of One Energy. He also said he’d heard in recent weeks that LEEDCo is exploring whether its Lake Erie project fits under that language.

Kent told Hoops his projects are not affected by the setback rule, as projects not under OPSB jurisdiction follow local zoning rules, so setback specifications are ironed out with local governments.

Responding to a question from Carfagna, both Bowser and Kent said they’d like to see the payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) law be made permanent.

https://www.toledoblade.com/local/politics/2020/09/30/revival-of-subsidies-for-renewables-sought-in-debate-over-nuclear-bailout/stories/20200930131

Revival of renewables sought in debate over nuclear bailout

 JIM PROVANCE

The Blade

SEP 30, 2020

COLUMBUS — EDP Renewables North America, the world’s fourth-largest wind developer, invested more than $700 million into projects in Paulding and Hardin counties when Ohio first rolled out the red carpet.

But more recent signals from the state — including last year’s passage of the $1 billion bailout of two nuclear plants — have convinced the company to look elsewhere for its future investments.

“HB 6 created a false dichotomy — that Ohio must sacrifice a clean-energy future at the expense of its energy past,” Erin Bowser, EDP’s director of project management, on Wednesday told a House of Representatives select committee now considering repealing House Bill 6.

“But rather than pit technologies against each other, we encourage the state to leverage the strengths of each and maximize the contributions that can come from various energy sectors,” she said.

Most of the effects of the law at the heart of a $60 million Statehouse bribery scandal are set to take effect Jan. 1. The law generally creates or expands consumer-fueled subsidies for legacy nuclear and coal-fired power plants in Ohio and offsets those costs by rolling back and eliminating existing surcharges designed to create markets for renewable sources like wind and solar and reduce energy consumption overall.

House Bill 6 — and stricter property-line setback requirements separately enacted several years ago — have rolled up that red carpet first extended in 2008, Ms. Bowser said.

The House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight, chaired by state Rep. Jim Hoops (R., Napoleon), is considering two bills — separately introduced by Republicans and Democrats — that would outright repeal House Bill 6.

But the committee is also considering whether to replace the law, which has many moving parts that go well beyond the $1 billion, seven-year bailout of the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant near Oak Harbor and its sister Perry plant east of Cleveland.

The law also contains expanded customer subsidies through 2030 for two 1950s-era, coal-fired power plants in southern Ohio and across the border in Indiana that are owned by a consortium of utilities. American Electric Power holds the biggest share.

It also holds $20 million a year for five specific utility-scale solar projects in Hardin County and southern Ohio.

The latter provision has caused a split within the Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition of Ohio, an 18-member trade association for developers, manufacturers, and industry leaders.

“Some of our members benefited from the solar language in current law while others took a loss with the reduction in [the renewable power mandates],” said Jason Rafield, the group’s executive director. “Our members would support a return to the previous [renewable standards] because it’s good for the industry.”

But the projects that have received or been promised a piece of the $20 million solar pie under House Bill 6 don’t want to see that disappear.

Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R., Glenford) and four of his allies face federal racketeering charges for allegedly using a non-profit corporation to launder some $60 million in “dark money” from FirstEnergy Corp. and related entities.

The money was used to help elect state representatives loyal to Mr. Householder who then helped to elect him speaker in 2019. The new speaker then used his power to push through the law that would provide $150 million a year to support the two nuclear plants owned by a former FirstEnergy subsidiary now called Energy Harbor.

Once it became law, the funding scheme allegedly continued to fight successfully an effort to ask voters to repeal the law on this fall’s ballot. All of the defendants have been accused of diverting some of the money for their personal use.

State Rep. Dick Stein (R., Norwalk), a member of the select committee, argued that the uncertain reliability of wind and sun make survival of aging power plants a necessity.

“We’re never going to get above the 2,000 megawatts that’s generated by the nuclear industry without possibly subsidizing them short-term until we come up with more workable solution like wind, solar, and possibly other renewables,” he said.

https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/politics/state/2020/09/30/ohio-house-lets-nuclear-bailout-stand-adjourns-eve-hb-6-repeal-deadline/5874378002/

Ohio House committee adjourns on eve of deadline for repealing nuclear bailout

Farnoush Amiri

Associated Press/Report for America

 

On the eve of a deadline, the Ohio House committee set up to determine the fate of the law now tainted by a $60 million federal bribery investigation adjourned for the coming weeks with no immediate plans for repeal in place.

Lawmakers left Wednesday’s hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight with no projected timeline of repealing or replacing the bailout legislation that passed last year in a process federal prosecutors called the ‘largest bribery, money-laundering scheme’ in state history.

Starting Jan. 1, the law will add a fee to every electricity bill in the state, and direct over $150 million a year, through 2026, to two nuclear plants near Cleveland and Toledo. House lawmakers had until Thursday to repeal the law in order to avoid the fees that will begin to be charged to 90% of the state’s electric consumers starting in the new year.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit last week in an effort to block the two nuclear plants from collecting the fees on the electricity bill if the Legislature does not act in time.

The committee has been the scene of heightened tensions between the state’s two political parties since the chamber’s former House speaker and four of his associates were accused of shepherding energy company money for personal and political use as part of an effort to pass the legislation, then kill any attempt to repeal it at the polls. All five men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Rep. David Leland, the ranking Democrat on the House committee, has been pushing for action before the Thursday deadline for weeks.

“House Republicans are going to let October 1st go by without doing anything to stop this ratepayer rip-off,” Leland said in a statement this week. “That means, in the middle of a global pandemic and an unemployment crisis, House Republicans are going to make hardworking Ohioans pay more on their utility bills.”

Leland also criticized that proponent testimonies for the repeal bills are from the same entities that testified for the bill’s passage last year.

Newly elected House Speaker Bob Cupp, who created the committee last month, said he wants to untangle the legislation “expeditiously” but also with care, as to prepare for any ramifications of the repeal.

The only way for lawmakers to ensure their constituents do not see the additional fee on their electric bill in January is for an emergency clause on the repeal, which would require 66 members voting in favor of it. Currently, 58 out of 99 House members have signed on to cosponsor bills that would repeal the law.

While lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have agreed the law and the process to which it was passed was corrupt, they have not proposed any concrete legislation to replace it with.

Virtual public hearing scheduled for proposed Madison Fields Solar project in Madison County

COLUMBUS, OHIO (Sept. 29, 2020) – The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) will hold a public hearing regarding Madison Fields Solar Project, LLC’s proposal to construct a solar farm in Madison County. The hearing will be conducted using Cisco Webex, a web-based platform that facilitates participation by telephone or live video on the internet.

The public hearing will be held on Dec. 3, 2020, beginning at 6 p.m. The purpose of the virtual public hearing is to allow residents in the local community, who are not parties to the case, to provide testimony about the project.

Individuals who wish to provide testimony must register with the OPSB by 12 p.m., on Dec. 2, 2020, by completing the online registration form at https://opsb.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/opsb/events/madison-fields-public-hearing or by calling (800) 686-7826. Individuals will be required to provide their full name and contact information and specify whether they plan to join the Webex event by internet or by telephone.

On the day of the local public hearing, all individuals who have registered to testify should be prepared to speak beginning at 6 p.m. Individuals who testify by internet will be promoted from Webex “attendee” to “panelist” when it is their turn to testify. Individuals who testify by telephone will be called by an OPSB staff member when it is their turn to testify, and then connected to the public hearing. If access or other issues are experienced during the hearing, individuals should immediately use the chat function within Webex or contact the OPSB at (614) 466-6843 for assistance.

If individuals wish to supplement their testimony with an exhibit, a copy of the document, along with a reference to case number 19-1881-EL-BGN, must be provided to the OPSB no later than December 9, 2020. Exhibits may be emailed to contactOPSB@puco.ohio.gov or mailed to Ohio Power Siting Board, 180 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Individuals who wish to attend the hearing by telephone and not offer testimony may do so by dialing (408) 418-9388 at any time during the hearing and entering access code 173 624 6802. The hearing will also be live streamed www.youtube.com/user/PUCOhio.

The proposed solar farm would be located across 1,932 acres in Pike Township in Madison County, near Rosedale and Mechanicsburg. The solar farm would have a maximum total generating capacity of 180 megawatts. More information about the project is available on the OPSB website.

https://highlandcountypress.com/Content/In-The-News/In-The-News/Article/FirstEnergy-Ohio-Utilities-launch-request-for-proposal-for-2020-Renewable-Energy-Credits/2/20/60455

FirstEnergy Ohio Utilities launch request for proposal for 2020 Renewable Energy Credits

AKRON – FirstEnergy Corp. today issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to purchase Ohio-compliant Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for its Ohio utilities – Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison. The purchases will help meet the companies’ 2020 renewable energy targets established under Ohio’s alternative energy law.

RECs sought in this RFP must be eligible for compliance with the companies’ 2020 renewable energy obligations in accordance with rules and procedures put forth by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), be deliverable through PJM Environmental Information System Generation Attribute Tracking System (EIS GATS), and generated between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2020. The companies plan to purchase 373,000 RECs, which can include solar renewable energy credits.

One REC represents the environmental attributes of one megawatt hour of generation from a PUCO-qualified renewable generating facility. The cost of the RECs is recovered from utility customers through a monthly charge filed quarterly with the PUCO.

No energy or capacity will be purchased under the RFP. The number of individual bidders is not limited. Participants in the RFP must meet and maintain specific credit and security qualifications and must be able to prove their REC generating facilities are certified or in the process of becoming certified by the PUCO.

The RFP is a competitive process managed by Guidehouse Inc. (Guidehouse), an independent evaluator and a global consulting firm with expertise in energy markets, renewables and competitive procurements. Based on the RFP results, the Ohio utilities will enter into agreement(s) with winning suppliers to purchase the necessary quantities of RECs.

FirstEnergy’s Ohio utilities have a website to provide bidders with a central source of documents, data and other information for the RFP process.

On Oct. 8 at 11 a.m. EPT, the FirstEnergy Ohio utilities and their consultant, Guidehouse, will conduct a webinar to outline the RFP process and the terms of the agreement, as well as to provide a forum to submit any questions. Questions also may be submitted during the RFP process directly through the RFP website.

To participate in the RFP, potential bidders are encouraged to submit credit applications by Nov. 2, 2020, and proposals are due Nov. 10, 2020 by 5 p.m. EPT.

The RFP Manager is Dan Bradley, Partner at Guidehouse..

FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.