Utilities’ power plant purchase cases to be heard in May, July - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Utilities’ power plant purchase cases to be heard in May, July

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FirstEnergy's and AEP's proposals for their West Virginia utilities to buy coal-fired generation from sister utilities will be heard in May and July, according to procedural schedules ordered Feb. 11 by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia.

Both of the state's major electric utility companies are based in Ohio, and both are rejuggling assets as Ohio transitions to a deregulated electricity market.

Both have filed billion-dollar cases with the PSC making arguments that taking coal-fired generation assets off the books of their Ohio subsidiaries is in the best interests of their West Virginia subsidiaries and ratepayers.

Intervenors in the cases are filing arguments seeking more detailed information about the cost of alternatives, including greater reliance on persistently cheap natural gas and more aggressive investment in efficiency. How to determine the most cost-effective means of meeting future demand also is under discussion.

The outcomes of these cases will influence the state's generation mix, incentives for diversification and efficiency, and electricity rates for decades into the future.

FirstEnergy's proposal for its subsidiary Mon Power to buy the 80 percent of Harrison Power Station it does not own from a sister utility will be heard May 29–31, according to the procedural schedule ordered Feb. 11 by the commission.

AEP's proposal for subsidiary Appalachian Power to buy portions of the John Amos and Mitchell power stations will be heard July 16–18.

Filings in the cases are gathering now. To follow the cases, subscribe at www.psc.state.wv.us to case numbers 12-1571 for Mon Power's and 12-1655 for Appalachian Power's proposals.