A Monday, Jan. 30 press release confirmed what has been rumored in Adams County for awhile. The Stuart and Killen plants will be closing in 2018. The text of the release is below. Look for the detailed report in the upcoming weekend edition of The People’s Defender.
Today, Dayton Power and Light (DP&L) submitted a proposal to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to begin development of new wind and solar energy projects, grid modernization initiatives, low-income energy efficiency and bill payment assistance and support for working families and communities. DP&L’s plan is the result of months of intense negotiation between many stakeholders including DP&L, the City of Dayton, large businesses, low-income advocates, and Sierra Club. Sierra Club and DP&L also have an agreement in principle, which, if fulfilled, will lead to the Sierra Club signing on to the settlement agreement later this week.
DP&L originally submitted a request to the PUCO last winter for hundreds of millions from its customers to prop up its coal plants, which had been losing customers’ money for years. The settlement ultimately reached by DP&L and stakeholders reduces DP&L’s rate increase request and secures investments in clean energy and energy efficiency programs that help customers save money, and would commit the company to help the working families and communities transition away from coal.
In the proposal submitted to the PUCO, DP&L commits to:
Develop at least 300 MW of solar and wind energy projects in Ohio no later than 2022. These projects will provide a boost to Ohio construction, manufacturing, and other important clean energy jobs throughout the renewable energy supply chain.
Provide $2 million in shareholder money to be used for workforce and economic development efforts in Adams and Brown Counties and the surrounding communities. This shareholder money will also be used to provide direct job training assistance to working families impacted by the closure of the Stuart and Killen coal plants.
Contribute $565,000 annually to help DP&L low-income electricity consumers reduce their energy use and provide bill payment assistance to customers at risk of losing electric service.
Invest $35 million in the first year of the plan to deploy modern, smart grid initiatives. This investment will create the backbone needed to develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure at multi-family homes, retail locations and workplaces.
In addition to these provisions, Sierra Club and DP&L have reached agreement in principle on terms that would retire the Killen and Stuart coal plants in June 2018 due to economic reasons. Closing these coal plants would also reduce air pollution and save $37 million annually in healthcare costs by avoiding more than 1,200 asthma attacks, 100 heart attacks and nearly 100 deaths. The Stuart and Killen coal plants are among the largest remaining sources of pollution in the U.S. impacting downwind residents all the way to the Atlantic coast.
Under this proposal, Ohio will continue to lead the nation in the retirement of old, dirty and uneconomic coal plants. DP&L’s commitment to invest in wind and solar puts Ohio on track to be a national leader in the clean energy economy as well.
The PUCO must review and approve this proposal, with a decision expected to take several months.
In response to today’s news, Dan Sawmiller, Senior Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in Ohio, released the following statement:
“DP&L’s coal plants are unable to compete against the cleaner, cheaper options demanded by customers to meet their energy needs. Today’s announcement underscores the profound national trend away from coal, and it remains critical that we take care of the workers and the communities affected by these decisions.
“This plan includes real opportunities and initiatives, paid for by DP&L’s shareholders, to support the hard-working families in Adams County and the surrounding area through this transition. The Sierra Club is committed to continue working with DP&L and the PUCO to ensure that the clean energy, job creation and transition components of the plan are thoughtfully implemented as soon as practical.”