EPSA claims that Ohio contracts for AEP, FirstEnergy will hurt PJM

The Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) said April 7 that recent Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) contract approvals for affiliates of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) and FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) will also harm the PJM Interconnection (PJM) wholesale market.

PUCO issued the much-debated orders on March 31. The orders tend to benefit affiliates of the Ohio-based power companies that operate fossil and nuclear plants. PUCO said in news releases that the orders do include various cost controls and grid modernization provisions.

The power purchase agreements (PPAs) approved in Ohio “will also harm the broader PJM wholesale market that serves tens of millions of customers in 12 other States and the District of Columbia,” EPSA said in an April 7 news release.

EPSA and its co-complainants in the Ohio utility “affiliate abuse” proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC), have jointly filed answers with FERC in those proceedings, EPSA said.

EPSA contends that the contracts approved by PUCO are “requiring Ohio consumers to fund multi-billion dollar corporate bailouts for each utility’s affiliated power generation.”

“EPSA and more than a dozen allies are fighting this blatant utility affiliate abuse before FERC,” said EPSA President and CEO John Shelk.

“By contrast, no one filed in support of FE and only one for AEP. EPSA has no objection to the lodging of the PUCO orders because that makes it all the more timely and indeed imperative that FERC act on the widely supported affiliate abuse complaints before next month’s PJM capacity auction as our coalition requested,” Shelk said.

“Make no mistake, though, but that the self-serving commentary by each utility accompanying what could have been simple motions to lodge the PUCO orders is as off the mark as the self-dealing contracts they continue to seek to shield from public scrutiny and complete regulatory review,” Shelk continued.

EPSA and its fellow petitioners has asked FERC to grant their the coalition’s complaints “and then specifically reviews these PPAs for compliance with FERC’s affiliate standards and otherwise, the deals that the utilities negotiated with themselves will escape full regulatory review for whether they are just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential under federal law as the Federal Power Act wisely requires,” Shelk said.

EPSA is the national trade association representing leading competitive power suppliers, including generators and marketers.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.