OEC CEO advocates for House Bill 239

June 1, 2017

Patrick Higgins

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives President and CEO Patrick O’Loughlin testified before the Ohio General Assembly on May 31 in support of House Bill (HB) 239, which would allow electric distribution utilities to recover costs for a national security generation resource. Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives is made up of Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc., as well as Buckeye Power, Inc., the generation and transmission cooperative that supplies power to the state’s 25 member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.

Passage of HB 239 would enable members of the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC), including Buckeye Power, with the long-term economic certainty needed to meet financial obligations at power generation plants. Kyger Creek and Clifty Creek generating stations comprise 18 percent of OVEC-owned and operated plants.

“Failure to enact HB 239 could result in stranded costs for our consumers and economic stress for the communities surrounding Kyger Creek Generating Station in Gallia County,” O’Loughlin stated. The maintenance of the combined 11 generating units at both plants is essential toward providing reliable, affordable electricity to Ohioans.

O’Loughlin voiced his support that all OVEC owners be afforded a clear path to recover investment costs, noting that consumers would otherwise be left with the burden of covering costs via higher rates.  O’Loughlin drew attention to OVEC’s environmental stewardship, pointing out that the organization has invested nearly $2 billion in nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and mercury emissions reduction controls, in compliance with state and federal regulations.

Through a diverse energy generation portfolio, Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives generates and transmits power to approximately 400,000 homes and businesses throughout Ohio. Its interest in OVEC power plants is essential to the provision of reliable, affordable electricity to the company’s membership. Buckeye Power has an agreement to purchase power from OVEC until 2040.