The operation of FirstEnergy's (NYSE: FE) Davis-Besse nuclear power station generates an average annual economic output of $805 million in Ottawa County and $1.1 billion statewide, according to a new economic analysis.
While generating 890 megawatts of carbon-free electricity, Davis-Besse employs about 700 well-paid positions and stimulates nearly 4,600 additional jobs in Ottawa County and Ohio.
The Nuclear Energy Institute study, titled "Economic Impacts of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station," analyzes the impact of Davis-Besse's operations through 2037—the end of its projected 60-year operating period. The facility is expected to generate nearly $30 billion in economic output for Ohio this year through 2037.
"This study confirms that Davis-Besse greatly strengthens the local, regional and state economies through job creation, tax payments, and direct and secondary spending. In many ways, Davis-Besse and its employees are extremely important to the quality of life of those who live in the communities around the facility," said Richard Myers, NEI's vice president for policy development. "The study absolutely affirms Davis-Besse's importance as a powerful economic engine and a key source of clean energy for Ohio."
"Davis-Besse is a safe and reliable generating asset and community partner that produces electricity for 450,000 homes and positive impacts for our county and the entire state of Ohio," said Jo Ellen Regal, Ottawa County Commissioners. "As the study shows, Davis-Besse is not only an important financial asset for local and state economies, it also is vital for providing affordable, reliable, carbon-free electricity to homeowners and businesses."
Key findings of NEI's study include:
- FirstEnergy provides higher-than-average wages at Davis-Besse: FirstEnergy directly employs approximately 700 people at the facility. Because they are technical in nature, these jobs typically are higher-paying than others in the area. The annual payroll is more than $60 million excluding benefits. This direct employment stimulates another 2,500 jobs in Ottawa County, and more than 2,100 additional jobs in other industries, for a total of 5,300 jobs throughout the state.
- Davis-Besse's annual spending creates a huge ripple effect in the state: The facility's operation stimulates $805 million of annual economic output in Ottawa County and another $295 million elsewhere in Ohio, for a total of $1.1 billion statewide. Further, the study finds that for every dollar of output from Davis-Besse, the local economy produces $1.66 and the Ohio economy produces $2.25.
- Davis-Besse is one of the largest taxpayers in Ottawa County: Davis-Besse's total tax impact (direct and secondary) was nearly $162 million in tax revenue to the state and federal governments. Davis-Besse pays more than $20 million in local taxes annually to support local schools, police and fire departments, and other public services. The company's expenditures increase economic activities that yield additional tax revenue.
- Davis-Besse is a highly reliable source of electricity: In 2013, Davis-Besse maintained a capacity factor (a measure of performance reliability) of 98 percent. This is several percentage points higher than the nuclear energy industry average and far higher than other forms of electric generation. This reliable production helps offset the potentially severe price volatility of other energy sources and the intermittency of renewable electricity sources.
- Davis-Besse is a critical part of Ohio's clean energy mix: Combined, Davis-Besse and Ohio's other nuclear energy facility, Perry, generate approximately 12 percent of the state's total electricity. They also generate nearly 90 percent of the state's carbon-free electricity, which is critical to meeting state and national clean air objectives. Davis-Besse alone produces far more emission-free electricity on an annual basis than wind, solar and hydro combined in Ohio. Davis-Besse's electricity production helps prevent the emission of 7.1 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking 1.4 million cars (one-fourth of all the cars in Ohio) off the road.
Davis-Besse also contributes to the quality of life in the local communities. FirstEnergy employees there are large contributors to the United Way agencies in northwest Ohio; they support Harvest for Hunger, the second-largest cooperative food drive in the nation, and provide fundraising for a number of other charitable organizations. Davis-Besse employees serve their communities as volunteer firefighters, scout leaders, emergency medical technicians and board members. They also provide education and career development opportunities, take part in environmental organizations and programs, and participate in many other community-friendly activities.
As evidenced by the study, the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station plays a vital role in helping Ottawa County and the state as a whole meet their demand for affordable, reliable and sustainable energy. Continued operation of the plant is crucial to the success of the region for many years to come.