Utilities seek OK from West Virginia regulators for five solar projects


Mon Power and Potomac Edison asked the Public Service Commission of West Virginia to approve five solar energy projects throughout the companies’ service territory in the state.

Together, the facilities would generate 50 MW of renewable energy.

The application supports a 2020 bill passed by the West Virginia legislature that authorizes electric utilities to own and operate up to 200 MW of renewable generation facilities to help meet the state’s electricity needs. A statement said the addition of new renewable generation may encourage economic development, as a “growing number of companies” require that a portion of the electricity they buy be generated by renewable sources.

If approved, Mon Power would build, own and operate the five solar facilities. The energy produced would be available for purchase by Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers in West Virginia. Customers who participate in the program would receive the equivalent of one solar renewable energy credit (SREC) for each megawatt hour of energy purchased.

The cost of the solar generation would be paid for by Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers in West Virginia through a solar surcharge until all the energy credits are purchased by program participants. The utilities are operating units of First Energy.

Once approved, procurement, groundbreaking, and permitting would begin on the first phase as soon as 2022, with all five expected to be completed before the end of 2025.

Four of the five proposed sites are on property owned by Mon Power or its affiliates, and the fifth location is still under review. The sites include a 26-acre reclaimed ash disposal site in Berkeley County, a 51-acre site adjacent to a Mon Power substation in Hancock County, a 95-acre site in Monongalia County, and a 44-acre reclaimed strip mine property in Tucker County.

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