First Energy commits to economic development initiatives.
Weekly Update Courtesy of Utility Regulatory News #3987: Citing FirstEnergy Corp.’s agreement to hold ratepayers harmless from costs incurred in switching from one regional transmission organization (RTO) to another, and pointing to the company’s pledges to devote more funding to local economic development programs, the Ohio Public Utilities Commission has signed off on a modified bidding structure by which FirstEnergy’s operating subsidiaries procure supply for their standard service offer (SSO) customers. FirstEnergy’s Ohio operating companies are Ohio Edison Co., Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co., and Detroit Edison Co.
The new SSO procurement process will be based on a twice-yearly competitive bid protocol that will utilize an independent bid manager and rely on a descending clock format. Pursuant to settlement, FirstEnergy agreed not to reflect in resulting rates $42 million in exit fees and integration costs it is incurring as it moves from the Midwest Independent System Operator RTO to the PJM Interconnection RTO. The utility also assented to forgoing recovery of certain “legacy” regional transmission expansion planning charges. In addition, FirstEnergy said that during the three-year period the new SSO bidding arrangement is in place, the utility will provide at least $25 million for economic development and job retention programs.
As part of that commitment, FirstEnergy said it would target automakers, offering those consuming more than 45 million kilowatt-hours at a single site in 2009 a monthly discount for increases in production. For the full story, subscribe to URN.