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.
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.
What happens next?
An evidentiary hearing related to AEP Ohio’s long term forecast report is scheduled for Jan. 15, 2019 at the PUCO offices in Columbus. At the evidentiary hearing, the utility and intervening parties will produce expert witnesses before a PUCO attorney examiner to support their case.
A second evidentiary hearing will be scheduled at a later date to hear arguments related to the specific solar facilities and AEP Ohio’s proposed tariffs.
The PUCO commissioners are the ultimate decision makers, and issue their decision after reviewing the complete case record, including hearing transcripts, expert testimony and public comments. A timeline for a commission decision is not known at this time.
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.
How can I learn more?
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 on 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 will schedule a public hearing regarding this project at a later date.
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.