PSC approves coal-fired power plants remaining open

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:45 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Three West Virginia coal-fired power plants can remain open beyond 2028 under a Public Service Commission (PSC) ruling.

The West Virginia PSC approved the Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power Company requests on Tuesday afternoon, allowing major upgrades to be completed at the Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell plants to bring them up to current federal environmental standards.

The plants can remain open until 2040 under the current federal regulations, but the companies will have to pay around $448 million to keep burning coal at these sites past 2028, according to PSC documents.

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Officials said Wednesday that the order will not immediately affect power bills for West Virginia customers.

On Tuesday, they reported customers would have to pay an average of $2.64 more per month per 1,000 kWh. Rates could increase even more in the future to help cover the cost of the project, according to the ruling.

The PSC decided that it is important to continue paying for these coal-fired plants to operate, even though Virginia and Kentucky refused to have their ratepayers cover the cost of keeping the plants open.

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As part of the ruling, the PSC said Virginia and Kentucky will not be allowed to use the energy produced by the plants if their customers do not share the cost of the upgrades.

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