FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) - A FirstEnergy official says the planned $1.1 billion sale of a coal-fired power plant is a reasonable price for protection against the much more expensive option of buying electricity on the spot market.
Vice president for compliance Jim Haney also said Monday that the deal would eliminate the 950 megawatt shortfall Mon Power and Potomac Edison face in supplying some 1,500 customers in West Virginia.
The deal would provide about 1,500 megawatts. The excess supply could be sold, potentially offsetting costs to customers.
Environmental and consumer groups are opposing Mon Power's purchase of the Harrison Power Station from a sister company, Allegheny Energy Supply.
They say the deal between two subsidiaries of Ohio-based FirstEnergy would raise rates for all but the largest industrial customers by 6 percent.
Since the possible change is happening in Harrison County, 5 News wanted to talk to people it's affecting to see what they thought about it. Most people in the area weren't even aware this was happening.
When 5 News explained that Mon Power owns 20% of the Harrison Power Station already and are trying to own all of it, we got a 50-50 response. Most people said they didn't care unless it was going to drastically change their bills. And other people said it matters how much they change, but a little is still too much because if you let them add some now, who's to say they won't add more later.
A representative from FirstEnergy said their goal is to not raise the prices, but to keep them consistent over the years.