PUCO officials say the decision to shutter plants was driven by rate-increase issue –
By Patricia Beech –
In an announcement released March 20, DP&L reiterated its decision to retire Adams County’s two coal-fired power plants by June 2018.
The news comes as a disappointment to Adams County Commissioner Brian Baldridge, who was hopeful the company might be convinced to keep the plants open until 2023 when their compliance with current regulations expires.
“As we move forward now, in light of DP&L’s official notification, obviously we’re going to start having a different conversation,” said Baldridge. “We’ve known all along that this was their intent, hopefully in the next year and a half there will be a change in the energy economy.”
DP&L claims that market-driven forces have placed the financial viability of the J.M. Stuart and Killen Stations at risk and negatively impacted the company’s over-all economic health.
In a press release company officials said: “Along with our co-owners of the plants, we have completed a thorough review of our options and it has become clear that, without significant changes in market conditions, the plants will not be economically viable beyond mid-2018. Consequently, we are faced with an important and difficult outcome. DP&L has made the decision to cease operation of the J.M. Stuart and Killen Stations and retire the plants by June 2018.”
County Commissioners said they were given no reason to hope the plants would remain open when they met last week with officials from the Ohio Public Utilities Commission to discuss the power plant closings.
Following a meeting with officials from PUCO last week, the Commissioners said they were given no reason to hope that the plants would remain operational beyond June 2018.
“Unfortunately, the meeting with PUCO clarified that this is strictly a rate increase issue, and they informed us that they have no control over the decision to close the plants,” said Commissioner Baldridge.
DP&L officials said the company recognizes the extent of the impact and uncertainty this decision creates for their employees, and said they were committed to managing workforce transitions related to the closure of the plants.