Power station hearing to be in Parkersburg

PARKERSBURG — One of three hearings concerning the sale of the 1,300 mw Pleasants Power Station by Allegheny Energy Supply will be held in Parkersburg next month.

The West Virginia Public Service Commission will hold the first of the three meetings at 6 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Parkersburg Municipal Building, City Council Chambers, followed by two more at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Martinsburg City Building and 6 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Monongalia County Judicial Center in Morgantown.

Monongahela Power Co. and the Potomac Edison Co. are proposing to purchase the coal-fired plant located on the Ohio River at Belmont, Pleasants County, in part to prevent future capacity shortfalls.

The plant, which is coal-fired, is owned by FirstEnergy, the parent company of Mon Power and Potomac Edison.

The Pleasants Power Station through the purchase would be placed in the regulated West Virginia market where it is guaranteed to make a profit. However, opponents claim maintenance of the plant will be costly and could cause rate increases for consumers to ensure it remains profitable.

Among opponents are WV SUN, a group dedicated to solar energy; West Virginians for Energy Freedom and the West Virginia Citizen Action Group.

Mon Power and Potomac Edison in previous filings said the purchase could result in a 1.6 percent decrease in rates.

The deadline for groups in opposition to file testimony is Aug. 25. Mon Power and Potomac Edison can respond by Sept. 18.

The Public Service Commission decision is expected after Oct. 19.