Evidence Shows Huge Cost of Harrison Settlement

Yesterday, WV Citizen Action Group filed testimony from its expert witnesses Cathy Kunkel and David Schlissel that clearly illustrated the cost to WV rate payers of the Harrison Power Station settlement proposal agreed to by FirstEnergy, the WV Consumer Advocate, the PSC staff, the Sierra Club and others.

The graph below uses all of the assumptions that FirstEnergy has used in its testimony presented in the WV PSC in support of its coal plant dump plan.  While the WV CAG experts disputed a number of those company assumptions throughout the case, they used those assumptions in this graph to show that even with the company’s biased assumptions, the cost of the Harrison transfer to rate payers is huge.

This graph also uses the lower purchase price of the Harrison transaction in the proposed settlement ($858 million) instead of FirstEnergy’s original $1.1 billion price tag.

So, even with all the companies biased assumptions and the lower cost, the total cost to rate payers of owning the Harrison plant compared with purchasing electricity from PJM’s wholesale markets will continue to grow until it reaches over $500 million in 2021.  Only in 2031 will the Harrison plant deal begin to pay off with a lower total cost than simply purchasing wholesale electricity.

As I have noted elsewhere, projections, especially projections ten to twenty years into the future, can be wildly inaccurate.  But in this case, WV CAG’s experts have used the company’s own “optimistic” (for FirstEnergy) projections to illustrate that even the most biased projections don’t work for WV.

Here’s the picture straight from the WV CAG testimony filed yesterday.  Read it and weep.

Harrison v market graphWill the WV PSC seriously consider this graph when they evaluate the settlement proposal?  We’ll see.

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