Ohio nuclear generators to face more competition with new 955-MW gas plant

OHIO - Nuclear generators already struggling in Ohio will face even more competition from almost 900 MW of gas-fired generation that came online this summer, and another 950 MW plant now in the works.

Both plants will connect to the PJM Integration market, according to the Toledo Blade, and will generate more power than FirstEnergy's nearby Davis-Besse nuclear plant.

The Clean Energy Future–Oregon project will cost an estimated $900 million to construct, and is expected to begin operation in 2020. The project was initially approved more than four years ago.

Nuclear plants in Ohio have pressed for subsidies to remain in operation, as their emissions-free power is being pushed off the grid by cheaper natural gas. In May, FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones told the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee that its Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants are unlikely to successfully compete with low cost gas-fired generation in the wholesale power market.

Proponents of supporting baseload generation like coal and nuclear have pointed to their contributions to the reliability and resiliency of the power system. But FirstEnergy's Ohio nuclear plants are not necessary for system reliability, according to Craig Glazer, vice president of federal government policy at PJM Interconnection and the former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

The Ohio Power Siting Board last week authorized Clean Energy Future-Oregon LLC to construct a 955 MW gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant in Lucas County.

The plant will be located on a 30-acre parcel of land in Oregon, Ohio, and will interconnect to the regional electric transmission grid via nearby 138 and 345 kV transmission lines.

The project is being developed by CME Energy, which this summer also brought online the Oregon Clean Energy Center, an 869 MW gas-fired power plant at a nearby location.


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