California company Omnis Fuel Technologies signed an agreement this week to purchase West Virginia’s Pleasants Power Station.

Last month we reported the company’s plans to convert the plan to run on hydrogen. The transfer still needs key approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Pleasants is a 1300 MW two-unit coal-fired power plant located on the Ohio River in Pleasants County, West Virginia. The plant, which some top state leaders had pushed to stay open, shut down June 1.

Until late 2022, it had been owned by Energy Harbor, which transferred the plant to Houston-based Energy Transition and Environmental Management (ETEM) for the purpose of demolition.

Omnis had been in negotiations to buy Pleasants Power Station from ETEM. The hydrogen used to power the plant would be a byproduct from Omnis’s graphite production operations, according to a filing with the Public Service Commission of West Virginia on May 24.

Omnis told E&E News the company has developed a form of pyrolysis, where a hydrocarbon is heated at extremely high temperatures to make synthetic graphite.

In May we reported that Two FirstEnergy subsidiaries, Monongahela Power Co. and Potomac Edison Co., had sought to enter into a letter of intent with the operator of Pleasants to run it from May until June 2024 while exploring a longer-term solution. The companies were seeking a surcharge for all customers to keep the plant open.

This was at the encouragement of state lawmakers. During the 2023 West Virginia legislative session, both the state’s Senate and House passed resolutions strongly encouraging Mon Power to continue its feasibility study and to purchase Pleasants.

Mon Power and Potomac Edison said they would continue to negotiate with ETEM in case the Omnis deal didn’t work out.

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