wv publicThe West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) granted Appalachian Power Co. and Wheeling Power Co. a certificate of convenience and necessity to make internal modifications necessary to comply with federal environmental regulations at the Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell coal-fired generating plants. Commission approval provides an opportunity for all three plants to remain operational through 2040.

The commission also authorized the companies to implement a surcharge in order to recover the construction costs. The average residential customer using 1,000 kw/month will see an increase of approximately 38 cents on their monthly bill beginning September 1.

“The commission is very concerned about a likely shortage of electricity that shutting down the Mitchell plant prematurely would cause,” PSC Chairman Charlotte Lane said. “We recognize that in the future, for new power supply resources, we may have to rely more on intermittent resources such as wind and solar. It is premature, however, to begin abandoning our traditional base load power supply resources, which can be upgraded to meet environmental requirements.”

The companies serve 387,897 customers across 23 counties in West Virginia.

“While West Virginia regulators have ruled on the case, regulators in Virginia also have a role to play and will make their decision soon,” WV Coal Association President Chris Hamilton said. “We are not out of the woods yet, but this is a massive victory.”