Mon Power Company says its average customers would pay less than a dollar more a month than they did last year if the state Public Service Commission approves the company’s purchase of the Harrison Power Station near Shinnston.
The company filed the rate information Tuesday with the PSC.
Mon Power currently only owns 20 percent of the large Harrison Power Station. The rest is owned by Allegheny Energy Supply with much of the power shipped to Pennsylvania. Mon Power filed a case with the PSC last November to purchase the remaining 80 percent of the plant so it can use all of the power in the Mountain State.
Mon Power spokesman Todd Meyers says the company didn’t have enough electricity for its 385,000 West Virginia customers and the 132,000 Potomac Edison customers it serves in the eastern panhandle. The company has been purchasing the extra power on the spot market, which has worked up until now because of low fuel prices but Meyers says that will ultimately change. He says the best option for Mon Power is to fully own the Harrison Station.
“It uses West Virginia coal and supports the economy, not only in Harrison County, but the broader economy and we think that’s the most cost-effective deal,” Meyers said.
The state Public Service Commission is months away from making a final decision.
Because of low fuel prices last year, the average customer’s bill for Mon Power is expected to drop by five percent beginning this month, down to $94.31 a month. If the Harrison Power Station plan is approved, the average customer’s bill would go up to $99.94 but Meyers says that’s only 87 cents more than the 2012 average customer’s bill.
“Regardless of how we get the power it’s going to cost money,” Meyers said. “If we build new natural gas plants it’s going to cost money. If we purchase another plant somewhere it’s going to cost money.”
Mon Power closed three of its older coal-fired plants last year. Meyers says the company didn’t produce enough electricity for its customers even before the Rivesville, Albright and Willow Island plants were shut down last fall.