Under the proposed deal, Mon Power would be able to recover from customers about $858 million of the $1.1 billion it will pay a sister company for the Harrison plant. However, Cathy Kunkel of the Citizen Action Group said that is still far more than the company's book value for the facility of about $554 million.
"Even with the reduced price," she said, "it's still a significant markup."
Mon Power had proposed a rate hike of $63 million a year to cover the costs of the plant but agreed in the settlement to instead reduce rates by about $16 million a year, said Byron Harris, chief of the PSC's Consumer Advocate Division.
That will result in a monthly rate reduction for residential customers of about $1.42, according to the proposed settlement.
James Van Nostrand, a West Virginia University energy law professor, noted that acquiring the Harrison plant gives FirstEnergy far more additional generation capacity than it is projected to need in the coming years.
The settlement, Van Nostrand said, "is too much power and the price is too high."
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.