FirstEnergy defends $1B deal for W.Va. power plant

VICKI SMITH Associated Press Published:

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 nearly 500,000 customers in eastern and northern 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.

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