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Automakers Could Glean $500K Power Credit Under AEP Ohio Proposal

December 1, 2016 By Cheryl Kaften

Central Ohio’s electric utility wants to support automakers with a new credit on their bills, according to a November 29 report in Columbus Business First.

American Electric Power Ohio – which delivers power to 1.5 customers in the Buckeye State– has asked the Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO) for the go-ahead to provide up to $500,000 annually to automakers who use more electricity than they did in 2009.

The company filed the new proposal on November 28 (Docket Nos. 13-2385-EL-SSO, 13-2386-EL-AAM ) as part of its economic development cost-recovery rider case, first introduced in May.

According to Columbus Business First, the new request was related to transportation technology initiatives sought by the city of Columbus: AEP played a role in helping Columbus receive tens of millions of dollars in U.S. Department of Transportation funding for its Smart City Challenge, which includes a proposed expansion of electric vehicle charging stations..

If approved by regulators, it would add a 2-cent increase a month to average bills received by AEP Ohio residential customers.

“It is an economic development proposal designed to encourage or support increased utilization or expansion of automaker facilities in AEP Ohio’s service territory,” utility spokesperson Melissa McHenry said in an email to the local news outlet. . “So an auto manufacturing facility could factor a potential ratemaking benefit into its business case if it is considering expansion or increased utilization of an existing plant.”

Automakers would be eligible for a $10 credit for every megawatt-hour they use above their baseline consumption, which AEP Ohio proposes as its electricity usage in 2009. The credit could be used for multiple plants or one plant.

Columbus-based AEP included the proposal as part of an eight-year extension of its long-term rate proposal. The plan was first introduced in May, and AEP revised it on Monday to include new requests related to transportation technology initiatives sought by the city of Columbus.

Akron-based FirstEnergy, which serves a number of automakers in northern Ohio, already has a similar credit, the newspaper said.

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