Commercial, Energy Procurement, Industrial, Power Prices, Utilities, Commercial, Industrial, Wind  -  May 18, 2017 - By Amy Poszywak

Advocates call on Amazon to save struggling nukes

As the fate of two Ohio nuclear plants continues to hang in the balance, a group of "concerned citizens, scientists, business leaders, conservationists and community leaders" in the state have called on Amazon.com Inc. to help support them by including nuclear energy within the company's definition of renewable energy. 

The e-commerce giant has been increasing its presence in the state in recent years, and securing renewable energy along with that growth in line with Amazon Web Service's goal of using 100% renewable energy.  As a large and growing employer in Ohio, Amazon's interest in renewable energy, particularly wind, has drawn political support from Gov. John Kasich for the state's renewable energy and energy efficiency standards amid opposition from portions of the Legislature. 

The letter, organized and published by nuclear and environmental advocacy group Environmental Progress, apparently looks to draw on Amazon's corporate influence for support of two FirstEnergy nuclear plants, Davis-Besse and Perry, which have been struggling financially for years within Ohio's competitive wholesale power market. Over the past three years, FirstEnergy and its utility holding companies have made a number of failed legislative proposals to support the plants; most recently, in early March, the company asked state lawmakers for "zero emission credits" for the generation facilities. 

Notably, signatories of the May 9 letter addressed to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos are exclusively individuals such as university professors and local leaders.

"Thanks to your leadership, Amazon.com has created thousands of jobs in Ohio fulfillment centers, and invested heavily in wind farms in Ohio," the letter reads. "We are writing to urge you to expand Amazon's commitment to clean energy and job creation by including nuclear energy in Amazon’s definition of renewables. Doing so would save Ohio's nuclear plants, Davis-Besse and Perry, which provide 90 percent of Ohio's electricity from clean energy, and 1,400 high-paying green jobs." 

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