Those conditions include a potential refund to ratepayers of part of the transaction costs if federal authorities determine the amount initially allowed was too high, and a limit on recovery of the costs tied to future net profits on off-system sales from Harrison's generation.
FirstEnergy has been seeking PSC approval to sell its Harrison Power Station near Shinnston to subsidiary Mon Power. The company says the move is the best option to deal with deficits in electricity needed to serve Mon Power customers in West Virginia.
Critics say FirstEnergy proposed an overvalued transaction, ignored the potential gains from better demand-side energy efficiency programs and locked the Mon Power subsidiary into a generation mix that is too narrowly focused on coal.
In August, FirstEnergy reached a tentative settlement that, among other things, allowed Mon Power to recover from customers about $858 million of the $1.1 billion it will pay a sister company for the plant.
The West Virginia Citizen Action Group continued to oppose the deal, arguing, among other things, that it would be wrong, and illegal, for commissioners to approve a settlement to allow Mon Power to recover $858 million from customers for the purchase of a plant that has a book value of just $554 million.
Cathy Kunkel, an energy expert for WV-CAG in the case, said that the organization was very disappointed in the ruling and is considering an appeal of the commission's majority decision.
"Commissioner Palmer's dissent lays out very strong arguments," Kunkel said.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.