FirstEnergy Corp. witnesses experienced another LONG day of cross-examining at the PSC. Commissioners are hearing testimony in the Ohio-based company's bailout attempt from West Virginia ratepayers. Much of the questioning focused on Mon Power's load forecast and the alleged need for the Pleasants plant, as well as the questioning of Mon Power's technical witnesses regarding the physical condition of the plant.
SURPLUS ENERGY UNTIL 2021 EXCEPT FOR 27 HOURS: FirstEnergy witness Bradley Eberts admitted that even based on his projections, Mon Power and Potomac Edison will have a surplus of energy for every hour until 2021, except 3 hours in 2020 and 24 hours in 2021. In other words, between 2018 and 2021, only 0.077% of the time will Mon Power and Potomac Edison need more energy. And that's all WITHOUT buying the Pleasants plant!
GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION? NITROGEN OXIDES EMISSIONS? Kurt Leutheuser, who testified on the soundness of the plant including environmental risks, appeared to have no knowledge of groundwater contamination or existing lawsuits about Pleasants nitrogen oxides emissions.
INDUSTRY IMPACT: Mike Messer, chairman of West Virginia Energy Users Group (a coalition of large industrial customers), testified Linde LLC (his company) faces higher electricity costs in West Virginia than its competitors do in nearby states like Pennsylvania and Ohio. Messer expressed his concern that the Pleasants purchase would drive up rates even further.
TODAY: Possibly the last scheduled day of the hearing. Expect testimony from the intervenors except for David Schlissel, representing WV SUN and WV Citizen Action Group. Due to health concerns, Schlissel's testimony is rescheduled for the week of Oct. 9.
WATCH IT LIVE: The PSC streams the hearings online. Watch here. The hearings, however, are not archived.
There's still time to get involved