Ohio AEP has been bullied by Sierra Club?

We have often noted that BUYERS for renewable power have not been especially active in Ohio. This is not surprising as the quality of the wind and sun is better elsewhere. Notwithstanding, activist groups like the Sierra Club, the National Resources Defense Council and others are training their guns on state battlefields. This week the news from Politico noted that green groups will redouble their efforts at the state level. The Sierra Club has already come to an agreement with American Electric Power (AEP) to purchase 900 MW of Ohio-generated renewable energy. Four hundred MW will be solar and 500 MW will be wind. This agreement is being fought at the PUCO. One issue is the cost to ratepayers. Ohio Consumers’ Council attorney, Kevin Moore asked, if the Sierra Club had performed a cost analysis of the proposed 500 megawatts of wind power and 400 megawatts of solar power. “No, we have not,” Kanfer said. Here’s why the cost matters: William Allen, AEP’s managing director of regulatory case management, said in regulatory filings that the utility would seek to recover costs associated with building solar and wind generation operations. The costs would be levied on customers.” That is after taking advantage of federal taxpayers subsidies and likely local tax abatement. Remember, we have showcased it many times, an excellent article from Forbes magazine. It shows that where there is the MOST wind turbine generated electricity, there are the HIGHEST electricity rates.  At any rate, we suspect there will be lots of wind developers lining up to sell Ohio generated wind to AEP if the deal is approved….

American Electric Power Company Inc. wants to build 900 megawatts of wind and solar electric generation projects in Ohio by 2020, but the plan’s cost to customers is unknown.

The concession by AEP to build the alternative energy projects is a big reason why erstwhile foe Sierra Club, which had labled the utility’s plan to assure profitability for its financially unstable Ohio coal plants a “bailout,” signed on to the income-guarantee proposal last month.

Nearly everyone can get behind replacing a dirty, outdated energy source with sunshine and breeze. AEP is taking an open approach to cleaner energy, and globally wind and solar accounted for about half of new generation capacity last year.
But how much would adding 900 megawatts of clean power cost ratepayers?…

This month the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, which represents residential utility customers and an opponent to the AEP-Sierra Club agreement, questioned Nachy Kanfer, a deputy director for the environmental organization’s Beyond Coal campaign. OCC attorney Kevin Moore asked if the Sierra Club had performed a cost analysis of the proposed 500 megawatts of wind power and 400 megawatts of solar power.
“No, we have not,” Kanfer said.
Here’s why the cost matters: William Allen, AEP’s managing director of regulatory case management, said in regulatory filings that the utility would seek to recover costs associated with building solar and wind generation operations. The costs would be levied on customers….

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