Solar Power Missing from FirstEnegy & AEP Coal Plant Cases

I have read FirstEnergy’s bogus “resource plan” and everything else that has been filed in the Harrison scheme at the WV PSC, and I have never seen solar power capacity in WV mentioned by anyone.

This is peculiar, because (1) the case is all about generating capacity and (2) almost all of the capacity that Mon Power needs is peak load capacity.  Mon Power’s generating system is completely intertwined with PJM’s capacity and electricity markets, and PJM’s peak demand always comes in the summer, during the daytime, just a little after solar generators are also producing their peak generation.

There are three reasons why photovoltaic power generation is not on the table in either the Harrison case.

  1. All of WV’s existing PV generation capacity is outside of FirstEnergy’s control, and is in direct competition with FirstEnergy’s WV subsidiaries.
  2. The WV PSC continues to passively accept leadership from Ohio power companies, instead of following the lead of other PSCs across the US.  In other states, PSCs recognize that power companies are part of the problem with the chaos that exists in the US electrical system.  Those PSCs, including Ohio and Maryland, have taken a much more active role in empowering homeowners and businesses to make new investment in renewable power and efficiency investments in their states.
  3. The hostility of WV state government to innovation, particularly in small scale solar and wind power development, has led to the termination of tax credits for renewable power systems and the passage of the Alternative and Renewable Portfolio Standard which actively suppresses incentives for renewable power generation in WV.

If WV had pursued small scale renewable power policies similar to those in MD and PA, it is quite likely that Mon Power’s need for 10 or 20 MW of new peak load capacity would have been taken care of by WV photovoltaic power.

Just thought I’d mention that.

3 thoughts on “Solar Power Missing from FirstEnegy & AEP Coal Plant Cases

  1. You are so right on this Bill, if the last session was any indication and I hope it wasn’t then the so-called “Powers that be” in Charleston are against the concept that folks can make their own power on their underutilized roofs, just fine thank you. The fact that solar technology is readily available and that we have a net metering law which spells out the rules of the interconnection to our power grid for WV power producers large and small scale to follow only emphasizes the need to recognize solar power as a solution to our peak loads and not a problem. Our industry does not know how to operate in absence of some kind of state incentives but we will soon find out after June 30th when the $2000 residential tax credit is scheduled to expire.

  2. In an article by Paul Gilding he linked the following article on distributive power which threatens the power companies – http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/why-consumers-wont-need-the-power-industry-any-more-53948 .

    He also predicts political agreements will not drive carbon reductions but more the economic pressure as coal, and oil become more precarious when people realize 2/3 of their fossil fuel assets must be left in the ground to avoid disaster or else the disaster itself causes economic melt down. This carbon bubble like the real estate bubble popping could happen quickly.

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