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AEP Ohio renewable generating facilities

AEP Ohio renewable background

On March 31, 2016, the PUCO approved a settlement agreement in a case related to power purchase agreements. A provision of the agreement called for AEP Ohio to pursue owning or operating 900 megawatts (MW) of new renewable facilities in Ohio, specifically 500 MW of wind powered generation, and 400 MW of solar powered generation.

What is a long term forecast report?

Ohio law requires each electric distribution utility to file a long term forecast report with the PUCO. The report must include a year-by-year, ten-year forecast of annual energy demand, peak load, reserves and a general description of the resource planning projections to meet demand.

What does a long term forecast report have to do with building renewable generating facilities?

Ohio law states that an electric distribution utility may establish a charge on customer bills for the costs of owning or operating an electric generating facility. In order to do so, the utility must first demonstrate need for the facility based on resource planning projections in a long term forecast report.

AEP Ohio’s 2018 long term forecast report seeks to demonstrate a need for 900 MW of renewable generation facilities.

Case background

On April 16, 2018, AEP Ohio filed its 2018 long-term forecast report with the PUCO pursuant to Ohio law.

On Sept. 19, 2018, AEP Ohio amended its report to include a demonstration of need for at least 900 MW of renewable energy projects in Ohio.

On Sept. 27, 2018, AEP Ohio filed an application seeking approval of the inclusion of two solar energy resources totaling 400 MW in the company’s Renewable Generation Rider (RGR), as well as approval to establish a new Green Power Tariff under which customers may purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) for the solar energy resources’ environmental attributes.

On Jan. 25, 2019 an evidentiary hearing was held at the Commission offices in Columbus. 

How can I make my voice heard?

The PUCO has scheduled a hearing on Dec. 4, 2018 at its offices in Columbus to allow for public testimony related to AEP Ohio’s long term forecast report.

The public can also write the PUCO online or by mail addressed to 180 E. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio 43215, and their comments will be added to the case record. All correspondences should reference case number 18-501-EL-FOR.

What did the Commission decide?

The Commission denied AEP Ohio's request to impose a nonbypassable charge on all customers for the purpose of underwriting its financial support for renewable energy resources. In its order, the Commission found AEP Ohio did not demonstrate the need for the facilities, regardless of which of the competing definitions of need are used to evaluate the proposed charge. Having determined that the necessary demonstration of need was lacking, the Commission concluded that its authority to approve the charge is also lacking. 

The Commission  noted that nothing in its order precludes the project developers, AEP Ohio or its affiliates from pursuing development of the generating facilities. Further, the Commission noted that the recently enacted House Bill 6 makes the proposed electric generation facilities eligible to seek financial support from the Renewable Energy Fund.

How can I learn more?

AEP Ohio’s long term forecast report can be found on the PUCO website at www.puco.ohio.gov by searching for case 18-501-EL-FOR.

AEP Ohio’s application regarding its RGR and Green Power Tariff can be found by searching for case 18-1392-EL-RDR and 18-1393-EL-ATA.

Related cases

Before construction can begin on any major utility facility or economically significant wind farm within the state of Ohio, a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need must be obtained from the Ohio Power Siting Board.

On Sept. 17, 2018, Willowbrook Solar filed an application to construct a 150 MW solar facility in Highland County. The OPSB scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 19, 2019 in Hillsboro, Ohio.

On Oct. 9, 2018, Hecate Energy Highland filed an application to construct a 300 MW solar facility in Highland County. The OPSB schedualte a public hearing for March 19, 2019 in Mowyrstown, Ohio.

Both projects remain pending before the OPSB. More information regarding the OPSB and the projects named above can be found on the OPSB website at www.opsb.ohio.gov and searching for cases 18-1024-EL-BGN and 18-1334-EL-BGN.