Curtis Tate Published

Saved From An Uncertain Future, Pleasants Power Station Is Reactivated

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

For the past several weeks, the Pleasants Power Station has been idle, its cooling towers emitting no steam high above the Ohio River in Pleasants County.

On Wednesday, the 1,300-megawatt power plant was reactivated, achieving a goal of state and local officials who wanted to preserve its jobs and tax revenues.

At the Greenbrier Resort, Gov. Jim Justice said Omnis Technologies would invest $800 million into the plant and eventually run it on hydrogen.

“The Pleasants Power Plant, a power plant, a coal-fired power plant, is taking new life,” Justice said.

According to the governor’s office, Omnis will create 600 new jobs in addition to saving the 160 jobs at the existing power plant. It’s not clear when the plant will be converted to hydrogen.

In this year’s regular session, state lawmakers overwhelmingly approved resolutions to encourage Mon Power to purchase the 44-year-old plant.

At the urging of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Mon Power did explore that option and proposed a $36 million surcharge on electricity customers to keep the plant in operating condition.

That became a moot point when Omnis stepped in.