Nuclear plants could get financial rescue from state
In a last-ditch attempt to give a financial lifeline to Ohio’s two nuclear plants, lawmakers announced a plan Friday that would add a surcharge to every electric bill in the state.
Backers of the plan said it would generate $300 million each year for clean- energy production, but they also think it should end up saving most customers money because it calls for getting rid of renewable energy mandates that add on extra charges.
The idea, supported by the leader of the Republican-controlled Ohio House, drew immediate criticism from groups that favor renewable energy such as wind and solar and those who say the plan too heavily favors the nuclear plants.
“Investment is more likely to happen if Ohio has a comprehensive energy policy that creates an equal playing field for all energy sources,” said Bill Stanley of The Nature Conservancy in Ohio.
The surcharge would add $2.50 to monthly residential bills, while commercial customers and businesses would pay more. Industrial users, for example, would see a $250 per month increase.
About half of the money from the surcharge would go to the Davis-Besse nuclear plant near Toledo and the Perry plant near Cleveland that produce 14 percent of the state’s electricity. The rest would go to expanding Ohio’s clean-energy sector.