Curtis Tate Published

Consumer Groups Ask Feds To Weigh In On Future Of Coal Plant

Large energy companies scheduled at least 93 meetings with FERC officials from mid-2010 through 2016. By contrast, records show, FERC commissioners met with environmental and public-interest groups 17 times over this period.

Two consumer groups want federal scrutiny over a deal to save a coal-burning power plant in northern West Virginia.

The Citizen Action Group and Energy Efficient West Virginia have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to weigh in on the future of the Mitchell plant.

The plant requires a costly wastewater treatment upgrade to operate beyond 2028. Under the current plan, West Virginia utility customers will pay for it.

The two West Virginia groups want the commission to examine whether that is in the best interest of ratepayers.

The groups argue that American Electric Power has not demonstrated that it needs all of Mitchell’s capacity or justified the cost to ratepayers.

The plant, in Marshall County, is half owned by Wheeling Power and Kentucky Power, both subsidiaries of AEP. The company is in the process of selling Kentucky Power.

Last year, Kentucky regulators rejected a plan for Kentucky Power customers to contribute to the Mitchell upgrades.