Mon Power RFP Sparks Questions, Criticism about Company's True Intent

Mon Power wants to sell its interest in a Virginia hydroelectric project even as it adds 1,300 megawatts of generating capacity in West Virginia, a proposal critics say could end up costing its customers in the Mountain State millions of dollars.

The utility in December said updated energy forecasts show it will need additional capacity starting in 2017, “with a steadily increasing shortfall expected to reach about 1,400 megawatts by 2027.”

Mon Power cited “rapid growth of the expanding Marcellus Shale gas industry” as a primary driver of the load growth.

“The RFP process is open and transparent,” said Mon Power spokesman Todd Meyers. 

But public interest groups across the states contend the utility’s RFP is anything but transparent. Groups like WV Sun and Energy Efficient WV suggest the RFP document was crafted to fit the needs of Mon Power’s parent company, FirstEnergy. FirstEnergy wants to move its 1,300-megawatt Pleasants Power Station, which is located along the Ohio River at Willow Island, out of Ohio’s highly competitive deregulated energy market and into West Virginia’s regulated market, where a return is guaranteed.