Watershed moment for U.S. nuclear energy as Ohio bill HB 6 signed into law
image credit: Perry Nuclear Power Plant / U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
- Jul 24, 2019 12:28 pm GMT
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Ohio’s Clean Energy Bill HB 6, which eliminated the state’s ongoing bailout of renewable wind and solar resources and approved a zero emission credit for its nuclear plants, was signed into law today.
Considered a “swing state” in both politics and nuclear energy, Ohio is home to two plants. Perry Nuclear Power Plant, 40 miles northeast of Cleveland on Lake Erie, was commissioned a year after California's Diablo Canyon Power Plant in 1986. Without HB 6’s credit, owner First Energy was expected to close the plant in 2021, and had canceled a license renewal application. Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, 25 miles east of Toledo, was commissioned in 1978 and was expected to close as early as May 2020.
But with a strong nuclear culture in Ohio extending back decades, state legislators realized the jobs the plants provided, the tech prestige associated with nuclear energy, and 2.15 billion watts of reliable, clean energy were more valuable than the empty promises of the state's cancelled "Renewable Portfolio Standard" (RPS). First Energy is expected to re-license both plants for additional 20-year terms.
Ohio’s big win today sets the stage for a zero emission credit in California, while focusing attention on the Golden State's gas/renewables combination responsible for reliability problems statewide.