Curtis Tate Published

Mon Power Asks PSC To Approve Upgrades To 2 Coal Plants


Two coal-burning power plants in northern West Virginia need upgrades to stay in operation, and local electricity customers will be asked to pay for them.

Mon Power is seeking approval from state regulators to upgrade wastewater treatment systems at the Fort Martin Power Station in Monongalia County and the Harrison Power Station in Harrison County.

The upgrades will bring the plants into compliance with Environmental Protection Agency rules.

If the West Virginia Public Service Commission approves the project, both plants can remain in operation beyond 2028.

According to the company’s filing, it plans to retire Fort Martin in 2035 and Harrison in 2040. The plants began operating in 1967 and 1972, respectively.

The plants produce about 3,000 megawatts of electricity and consume 7% of West Virginia’s annual coal production. Together, they employ 420 workers.

Starting in 2024, Mon Power customers will pay a monthly surcharge to cover the $142 million cost of the upgrades. It will add 51 cents to the average residential customer’s bill, according to the company’s filing.

The Public Service Commission earlier this year approved similar projects at Appalachian Power’s John Amos and Mountaineer power plants and Wheeling Power’s Mitchell plant.

State regulators in Kentucky and Virginia rejected the plans, so West Virginia ratepayers alone will have to bear the cost of upgrading the three plants.

Mon Power is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy. In July, FirstEnergy reached agreed to pay a $230 million penalty to settle federal charges related to a bribery scandal in Ohio in 2020.