CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Regulators will consider a rate proposal by two FirstEnergy subsidiaries that would keep a West Virginia coal-fired power plant open past its scheduled May 31 closing date.
The state Public Service Commission said Friday it has scheduled an April 23 evidentiary hearing on the request by Monongahela Power and Potomac Edison. The companies are seeking to enter into a letter of intent with the operator of the Pleasants Power Station along the Ohio River to run the plant from May until June 2024 while exploring a long-term solution.
Houston-based Energy Transition and Environmental Management is currently leasing the plant from the previous owner, Akron, Ohio-based Energy Harbor.
The FirstEnergy subsidiaries are seeking a surcharge for all customers that would raise $36 million to recover costs to keep the plant open for 12 months. Ratepayer and environmental advocates oppose the plan.
State lawmakers in 2019 voted overwhelmingly to give the struggling power plant a $12.5 million tax break. Local and state officials have said closing the plant would devastate the local economy, coal producers and other industries.
The 43-year-old plant employs about 150 workers.
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