West Virginia PSC approves continued operation of 3 coal-fired power plants

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WV News) — The West Virginia Public Service Commission on Tuesday approved Appalachian Power Company and Wheeling Power Company’s request to keep the Amos, Mountaineer, and Mitchell plants operational until at least 2040.

The order will not immediately affect the power bills of West Virginia customers, according to a release from the PSC. The original order in this case resulted in a rate increase that would add approximately $2.64 per month to the current bill of a residential customer who uses 1,000 kWh per month.

Any additional amount that results from Tuesday’s order will require the companies a further proceeding to recover the costs of implementing the upgrades.

The order points out that benefits of the plants’ continued operation to the state’s economy are considerable, according to the release. Direct employment at the plants; use of West Virginia coal; state, county and local taxes related to operating generation plants; and related employment in businesses supporting the plants and the coal industry cannot be discounted or overlooked.

The commission also considered the reliability of fuel secure base load generation capacity in making its decision.

The order is the result of Virginia and Kentucky refusing to approve the Coal Combustion Residue and Effluent Limitation Guideline upgrades required for the plants’ continued operation, according to the release. The commission determined that if those two states will not share the cost of the upgrades, they will not be permitted to use the capacity and energy produced by the plants.

For more information, go to the PSC website at www.psc.state.wv.us and refer to Case No. 20-1040-E-CN.

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