Curtis Tate Published

Senate Bill Would Restrict Closure, Demolition Of Power Plants

A man sits behind a desk in a Senate committee room listening intently to a speaker.
Sen. Randy Smith, R-Tucker, is the lead sponsor of SB 609. Smith is also the chair of the Senate Energy Committee.
Will Price/WV Legislative Photography

Any utility that wants to close or tear down a power plant must first seek permission from the state Public Energy Authority.

That’s what Senate Bill 609 would do. On Tuesday, the Senate Energy, Industry and Mining Committee approved it.

SB 609 would also require an approved third party to study the social, economic and environmental impact of a plant closure.

Statewide, there are four inactive power plants awaiting demolition, lawmakers were told.

The only active West Virginia power plant scheduled to be deactivated is the Pleasants Power Station in Pleasants County.

On Monday, the Senate unanimously approved a resolution encouraging Mon Power to buy the Pleasants plant from Energy Harbor.

If a buyer doesn’t step forward, the 44-year-old plant will shut down at the end of May.