PJM’s Evelyn Robinson Testifies Before Ohio Legislators

House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight Considering Bills to Repeal Nuclear Subsidy Legislation

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Evelyn Robinson, Managing Partner in PJM’s State Government Policy Group, delivered testimony Wednesday to a select committee of the Ohio House as it considers bills that would repeal nuclear subsidy legislation.

Speaking before the Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight, Robinson provided insight into how PJM works to maintain system reliability; outlined PJM’s and Ohio’s generation resource mixes; and shared information from an economic analysis PJM completed in 2019 at the request of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. That study analyzed the effects of certain proposed nuclear power plant retirements on the energy market and emissions.

Ohio has more than 25,000 MW of installed capacity, primarily natural gas and coal units, along with more than 2,000 MW of nuclear energy provided by the Davis-Besse and Perry plants, Robinson said. For context, PJM has more than 184,000 MW of installed capacity throughout its footprint.

Generation looking to come online in Ohio is reflective of PJM as a whole, she said, in that the most prominent types of resources are natural gas and solar.

“The sheer number of projects in the queue expresses that investors are finding value in bringing new resources into the market in locations such as Ohio,” Robinson said in prepared remarks.

She also briefed the committee on the 2019 study that examined the potential closures of the Davis-Besse, Perry, Three Mile Island and Beaver Valley nuclear plants. That study found that new, more efficient natural gas units coming in to replace those generation resources would result in an estimated $1.6 billion in annual savings in wholesale electricity costs. It did not make any recommendation on policy.

“The analysis conducted by PJM was done only to provide our best attempt to determine what impacts the retirements of the units would have on the state and regional energy markets and emissions,” Robinson said. The study also included a table of estimated emissions impacts, which varied with each scenario.