West Virginia Regulatory Staff Seek Answers on FirstEnergy Coal-Generation Plans

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Darren Sweeney for SNL:West Virginia regulatory staff have asked FirstEnergy Corp.’s utilities to explain why buying an existing coal-fired power plant is the best option for meeting future generation needs. The utilities also were asked to provide the additional costs needed to retrofit a supercritical, coal-fired plant to meet federal environmental requirements.Monongahela Power Co. and fellow FirstEnergy subsidiary Potomac Edison Co. submitted their integrated resource plan late last year to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia. Mon Power, which supplies the generation needs for Potomac Edison’s West Virginia service territory, predicted a capacity shortfall of more than 850 MW by 2027 and said that purchasing existing generation facilities or co-firing its coal plants with gas are likely the best options to meet this need. (Case No. 15-2002-E-P)Guggenheim Securities LLC analyst Shahriar Pourreza noted in a March 15 research report that opponents of the plan are concerned that FirstEnergy is attempting to place one of its merchant coal plants into the West Virginia utilities’ rate base.Retrofitting would cost approximately $55 million to $80 million for each unit at the coal plants, which Mon Power breaks down to $85 per MW for the three units at Harrison and $140 per MW for the two units at Fort Martin.The utilities said they did not factor in the additional costs needed to meet the minimal EPA requirements under the Clean Power Plan since the regulations remain under litigation and “have yet to be defined in the state implementation plans.”Regulatory staff, however, also are skeptical of the effect on reliability during the retrofitting.“How can the Company remain in compliance with [PJM Interconnection LLC] requirements when at any given outage to retrofit a generating unit with co-fired natural gas burners, generation will be down by at least 546 MW?” the PSC staff asked.Full article ($): W Va. regulatory staff seek answers on FirstEnergy utilities’ coal generation plans West Virginia Regulatory Staff Seek Answers on FirstEnergy Coal-Generation Planslast_img read more