FirstEnergy planing West Virginia solar energy project

West Virginia

FILE – The Pacific Ocean looks over nuclear reactor units of No. 3, left, and 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan on Feb. 27, 2021. A team from the U.N. nuclear agency arrived in Japan on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 to assess preparations for the release into the ocean of treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — FirstEnergy Corp. has applied to build five solar energy projects throughout its West Virginia service territory.

The Akron, Ohio based utility company estimates that the projects, if approved by West Virginia regulators, would generate 50 megawatts of power, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

The plans comply with a 2020 bill passed by the state legislature that permits electric utilities to own and operate up to 200 megawatts of renewable generation facilities. They would not displace the company’s current coal-fired generation capacity, the newspaper reported. 

The application was submitted through FirstEnergy’s two subsidiaries, Mon Power and Potomac Edison.

Construction could begin as early as 2022, with all projects expected to be completed by 2025. 

The sites include a 26-acre reclaimed ash disposal site in Berkeley County, a 51-acre site adjacent to a Mon Power substation in Hancock County, a 95-acre site in Monongalia County and a 44-acre reclaimed strip mine property in Tucker County. A fifth location is under review.

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