WV mayors, gas companies, others question FirstEnergy’s plan for Pleasants power plant

West Virginia mayors, state regulators, residential solar groups, energy efficiency organizations, natural gas companies and other regional electric producers are lining up against FirstEnergy’s plan to sell the Pleasants power plant to its West Virginia subsidiaries without seeking bids for other sources of power.

Since the beginning of the year, officials with FirstEnergy have been under fire for suggesting that the company was going to sell another coal-fired power plant to Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers in the near future.

At first, the Akron-based utility company declined to say whether it had any particular coal plant in mind, but its executives later admitted to investors that the company would like to offload the plant into the West Virginia utility market, where the company is guaranteed a profit.

Now, the coal-laden utility finds itself up against a diverse and growing group of organizations that don’t believe the state’s Public Service Commission should allow the company to shift the risk of the power plant off of investors and onto West Virginia electric customers without proving that it is the lowest cost option for consumers.