Curtis Tate Published

PSC Approves Proposal To Keep Pleasants Power Station From Closing

A grey, marble sign with a building in the background.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission headquarters in Charleston.
Curtis Tate/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia utility regulators approved Mon Power’s proposal to save a power plant that was slated to shut down next month.

Mon Power will negotiate with the current owner of the Pleasants Power Station to potentially purchase the 1,300-megawatt facility.

If an agreement is reached, Mon Power ratepayers will pay a $3 million a month surcharge to keep the plant’s 146 employees working and the plant in operating condition.

However, it will not generate electricity. And the Mon Power proposal is only an interim solution.

The 44-year-old plant was supposed to shut down at the end of May. State and local leaders, plant workers and the coal industry pushed hard to prevent its closure.

Officials from Mon Power parent FirstEnergy told the Public Service Commission last week that Pleasants needs at least $500 million in upgrades to meet current federal environmental rules.

The PSC asked the parties to provide an update on their negotiations in 30 days.