Curtis Tate Published

Pleasants Power Station, Once Facing Closure, Now Has A New Owner

An idled power plant sits in silence on a hazy summer day as seen from the side of a state highway with empty stacks soaring into the sky.
The Pleasants Power Station ceased producing electricity on June 1.
Curtis Tate/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Pleasants Power Station officially has a new owner.

As of Tuesday, Quantum Pleasants has taken over the coal-burning plant in Pleasants County from ETEM, according to a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

FERC approved the deal last week.

The plant ceased operating on June 1, and ETEM had intended to demolish it and redevelop the site.

Quantum has plans to produce graphite, a key ingredient used to make batteries. The process produces hydrogen as a byproduct, and Quantum plans to fuel the power plant with it.

Few details of the transaction are publicly available, including the purchase price. It’s also unclear how many of the plant’s 165 employees will be retained.

The 1,300-megawatt plant first came online in 1979. It could have closed several years ago, but state lawmakers and Gov. Jim Justice rescued it with a $12.5 million a year tax break.

Earlier this year, again faced with the prospect of Pleasants shutting down, state lawmakers passed resolutions to encourage Mon Power to purchase the plant.

Mon Power did examine the possibility, and initially asked the state Public Service Commission to charge ratepayers $3 million a month to keep the plant in operating condition while it studied a purchase.

By stepping in, Quantum Pleasants ensures that Mon Power ratepayers will not be on the hook for the plant.