FirstEnergy Corp. is looking to buy solar energy credits to offset power that it produces in Ohio. The credits are designed to offset pollution.
The Akron company said this week it is seeking proposals for 10-year contracts for Solar Renewable Energy Credits for customers of its utilities in the state: Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating and Toledo Edison. The credits are needed under an Ohio energy law. Full bids are due March 6.
The company has been adjusting its operations to get ready for new environmental regulations. That includes plans announced last week to shut down six coal-fired power plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland by Sept. 1 because it would have been too expensive to bring them into compliance with new federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
FirstEnergy has 6 million customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia. It gets about 80 percent of its output from coal and nuclear power plants.
Separately, environmental groups and charter fishing captains in Ohio are hoping Lake Erie’s fish population will rebound in the coming years with the closing of a coal-burning power plant that sits next to the lake’s biggest tributary.
One of the FirstEnergy coal-burning generators being closed is near Toledo. Environmentalists have for years been pushing the plant to make changes to the way it uses water from the Maumee River.
The plant sucks in billions of gallons of water each year and kills millions of fish near some of Lake Erie’s most popular fishing spots. Most of the fish that are killed are those eaten by some of the lake’s most prized fish including walleye and perch.