FirstEnergy pushes for rate hike to help Ohio nuclear plants

(AP Photo)

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – The head of northern Ohio’s largest electric utility is telling state lawmakers that a proposal to keep alive its two nuclear plants along Lake Erie is more than just a bailout.

FirstEnergy Corp. President Chuck Jones says the plants need to keep operating to ensure Ohio has a diverse lineup of homegrown energy sources and that electricity prices aren’t vulnerable to wild swings.

The Blade in Toledo reports Jones spoke to lawmakers Tuesday about the plan. If approved, it would increase rates by as much as $5 a month for FirstEnergy customers in Ohio.

The increase could generate about $300 million each year for the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants that are owned by the Akron-based utility.

Both plants are facing stiff competition from cheaper natural gas plants.

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