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Kentucky Regulators: West Virginia Coal-Fired Power Plants Should Be Closed In 2028

Utility regulators in Kentucky have reached a decision this week that power plants in northern West Virginia must be closed many years earlier than planned.

On Thursday, the Kentucky Public Services Commission rejected Kentucky’s request to carry out environmental compliance work at the Mitchell Power Plant near Moundsville, West Virginia.

Under federal regulations, coal-burning plants require new wastewater treatment systems to remain operational until 2040. Without it, the plant would have to be closed by the end of 2028.

The total cost of the project is $ 133.5 million and the Kentucky Power portion totals $ 67 million. The company, along with Wheeling Power, owns half of the Mitchell Power Plant. Both are subsidiaries of American Electric Power based in Ohio.

Kentucky Power told the commissioner that performing an upgrade to keep the plant up and running until 2040 is the least cost option and that the plant is needed to maintain capacity obligations to the grid.

American Electric Power’s Cornesville plant in Ohio was closed in May 2020. Are the company’s three power plants in West Virginia likely to:

The company sought to recover costs through additional charges paid by customers to their monthly invoices. Kentucky Power serves approximately 165,000 customers in eastern Kentucky.

Environmental groups, utilities customers, and the Attorney General’s office in Kentucky have testified that closing the factory in 2028 will save payers tens of millions of dollars. They told regulators that natural gas, renewable energy and other capacities could replace the Mitchell power plant.

In his testimony last monthThe plant “provides little or no economic value to the Commonwealth,” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron told the commissioner.

In that orderThe committee said the company was unable to demonstrate that the project was the most rational and least costly option. The committee also said the company exaggerated the cost of solar power as an alternative and did not consider the tax benefits of decommissioning the plant.

Kentucky Power spokeswoman Cindy Wiseman disagreed with the Commission’s findings, but said, “Given the economics and overall size of the investment, this was a close call to the Commission.” Recognized.

The West Virginia Public Services Commission has not yet made a decision on the Wheeling Power portion of the project. It is not clear what would happen if the committee came to a different conclusion than the corresponding Kentucky committee.

Emmett Pepper, policy director at Energy Efficient West Virginia, said the Kentucky Commission’s decision indicates that Mitchell’s modifications are “not good for West Virginia customers.”

Rejecting them “will help avoid yet another rate hike and create savings that can be invested in the development and implementation of real economic transitions that will bring new jobs and economic development to Northern Panhandle,” Pepper said. Added.

The Mitchell plant directly and indirectly supports hundreds of jobs and provides the surrounding community with millions of dollars in annual tax revenue.

Public and written testimony in West Virginia overwhelmingly supports keeping the plant open.

Mitchell Power Plant is one of three in West Virginia Its fate may be determined in the coming weeks. The other two, John Amos in Winfield and Mountaineer in New Haven, need the same wastewater upgrade to stay up and running until 2040.

The fate of the John Amos plant in West Virginia rests with the utility regulators of two states.

Like Mitchell, they will close in 2028 if the work isn’t completed. Upgrades to all three plants will cost $ 317 million.

The Amos and Mountaineer factories are waiting for a similar decision from the Virginia Corporate Commission. last week, Senior Hearing Examiner of the Committee The commissioner recommended rejecting the project.

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Kentucky Regulators: West Virginia Coal-Fired Power Plants Should Be Closed In 2028

Source link Kentucky Regulators: West Virginia Coal-Fired Power Plants Should Be Closed In 2028

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