The Ohio House of Representatives has passed a bill to subsidize the state’s two nuclear power plants in a move decried by the natural gas industry, which has staunchly opposed out-of-market assistance for the reactors operated by bankrupt FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiaries.
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Although a record amount of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity coming online is expected to keep global gas prices in a lull through 2020, there is an abundance of appetite to warrant the sanctions of some of the 19 million metric tons of LNG awaiting final investment decision (FID), according to Wood Mackenzie.
Yet another state will support nuclear power plants with subsidies as New Jersey regulators last week officially approved a zero emissions credit (ZEC) program that both gas-fired generators and environmental groups had fought.
Yet another bill to support struggling nuclear power plants with state subsidies has been introduced, this time in Ohio, where FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiaries have announced plans to close the state’s two reactors without legislation or market reform to help them. The natural gas industry immediately decried the legislation as it continues to fight similar proposals nationwide.
Incentives for nuclear power plants being advanced in various parts of the country appeared to gain ground Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Electric Power Supply Association’s (EPSA) petition challenging state subsidies for the facilities in New York and Illinois.
The natural gas industry went before Pennsylvania lawmakers to again spar with representatives of the nuclear power sector, who pushed in recent testimony before the state Senate’s consumer protection committee for passage of a bill requiring electric distribution companies and suppliers to purchase credits from nuclear plants.
Natural gas-fired electricity output exceeded coal-fired generation last year for the first time in the history of the nation’s largest grid operator PJM Interconnection, according to a report released last week by its independent market monitor.
Legislation has been introduced in Pennsylvania to support nuclear power plants that face stiff competition from natural gas in the wholesale markets by requiring electric distribution companies and suppliers to purchase credits from the facilities.
Trade associations representing the oil and gas industry are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to find that state subsidies used to prop up uneconomic nuclear power plants are unfair because they interfere with FERC’s exclusive authority over wholesale rates in the energy market.
Pennsylvania lawmakers are circulating memos in both the state House and Senate seeking sponsors for legislation that would better support the state’s five nuclear power plants as the facilities continue to face stiff competition from other generation sources such as natural gas.