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Mon Power Should Buy Pleasants Plant, Energy Analyst Tells PSC

FortMartin.jpg
FirstEnergy
Mon Power's Fort Martin Power Station in Maidsville, West Virginia

The Pleasants Power Station in Pleasants County is slated for closure next year, but Mon Power could prevent that by buying it.

That’s what Emily Medine, an energy consultant, told the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) in written testimony.

The Pleasants plant has pollution controls that cut nitrogen oxide, which creates smog.

Mon Power’s Fort Martin Power Station in Monongalia County does not have similar controls. To comply with federal regulations, it must purchase nitrogen oxide credits, and they’ve become expensive.

Medine said the Pleasants plant could continue to operate, and Fort Martin could close.

The PSC will hold an evidentiary hearing on the matter next month.

The Pleasants plant was saved from closure in 2019 with a $12 million tax break passed by the West Virginia Legislature.

In previous testimony to the PSC in 2017, Medine opposed ratepayers picking up the cost to keep Pleasants operating.

The plant’s two units generate more than 1,300 megawatts and have been in operation since 1979 and 1980.

Medine’s latest recommendation is related to a request Mon Power made to the PSC last month. It seeks to recover $184 million in fuel and other costs from ratepayers. If approved, their bills would increase an average of $11 a month.

Energy & Environment Reporter, ctate@wvpublic.org, 202-679-8470, @tatecurtis

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