Harpers Ferry has entered an agreement with electric utilities Mon Power and Potomac Edison to help support the construction of solar panel sites statewide.
The town agreed to purchase a subscription of Solar Renewable Energy Credits equal to its streetlight and town hall energy usage, meant to support five sites owned by parent company FirstEnergy.
These include solar farms built on a 26-acre reclaimed ash disposal site in Berkeley County; a 51-acre site in Hancock County; a 27-acre retired ash disposal site in Marion County; a 95-acre site in Monongalia County and a 44-acre reclaimed strip mine property in Tucker County. All together, they’re expected to generate 50 megawatts of solar power across the state.
“Support of this solar initiative is good governance, and municipal, county and state government entities should lead by example,” Harpers Ferry Mayor Gregory Vaughn said in FirstEnergy release. The decision made by the town council to go forward with the agreement was unanimous.
The decision by FirstEnergy to focus their attention on renewable energy in West Virginia also comes after Senate Bill 583 was passed by state legislators in 2020, allowing for utilities companies to operate up to 200 megawatts worth of solar facilities for economic development purposes.
The utility is currently waiting for final approval from the state’s Public Service Commission, as well as similar commitments from other municipalities and customers, to begin construction of these sites.
Conditional approval for the project was granted by the PSC late last year, with construction expected to be completed by 2025.