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Analysis: Pleasants deal would cost WV manufacturers, schools and hospitals


Charleston Gazette-Mail

The Pleasants Power Station in Pleasants County.
(Gazette-Mail file photo)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As Mon Power and Potomac Edison await approval to buy a Pleasants County power plant, an analysis backed by opposition parties says manufacturers, schools and hospitals in West Virginia will have to pay about $230 million more on their utility bills over 15 years if the deal goes through.

Technical consultant RunnerStone conducted the analysis for Solar United Neighborhoods of West Virginia, a group opposed to the deal.

According to the analysis, manufacturers serviced by the companies could pay $181 million more in utility bills over 15 years. The average medium-sized manufacturing facility would see a $15,642 bump in its bill yearly, the analysis says.
“Increasing the burden on West Virginian manufacturers could reduce the competitiveness of their businesses when compared to other regions,” the analysis says.

Pleasants Power Station, a coal-fired plant, is owned by FirstEnergy, parent company of Mon Power and Potomac Edison. If the $195 million deal goes through, the plant would become part of the regulated West Virginia market, where it is guaranteed a profit.

The transaction requires approval from the state Public Service Commission, which has yet to make a ruling.

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