Federal agency says it must approve profit guarantees for Ohio utilities
Federal regulators dealt a blow to Ohio utility profit guarantees on Wednesday , saying the plans cannot go into effect until a review of whether federal rules are being violated.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asserted its authority in a pair of orders, saying that the plans are not valid unless American Electric Power and FirstEnergy apply for, and receive, approval from the agency.
The orders were in response to complaints filed by competing electricity companies that have argued the AEP and FirstEnergy plans are illegal subsidies. The Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel and others have raised similar issues.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved the profit guarantees late last month, allowing AEP and FirstEnergy to receive the benefits for selected power plants that might otherwise close.