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WV PSC Order denying acquisition of wind facilities (Hardin Wind Facility and Beech Ridge II)

The West Virginia Public Service Commission issued this order denying a petition filed by the Appalachian Power Company (APCo) and Wheeling Power Company seeking consent and approval for APCo to acquire the Hardin wind generation facility (Hardin Wind Facility), that is under development in Hardin County, Ohio, and the Beech Ridge II wind generation facility (Beech Ridge II Wind Facility) that is under development in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The Beech Ridge II facility is a 50 Mw wind project and the Hardin facility is a 175 Mw wind project. An excerpt of the order is provided below that highlights the reasons for the denial. The full order can be accessed via the links on this page.

FINDINGS OF FACT

1. The Companies have sufficient capacity. Tr. I1 at 52-53 (Scalzo).

2. The low net cost to ratepayers in the first ten years due to the PTC creates a concern for fairness to future ratepayers who will be required to bear the higher costs in years eleven through twenty-five.

3. The Companies do not generate sufficient energy to serve their customers in the winter months.

4. PJM plans its supply resources to meet its summer peak demand and energy requirements and, therefore, has more than enough generating capability in the winter to make up for any shortfall between APCo’s energy generation and its customer energy needs.

5. The VSCC held that APCo failed to establish that the wind facilities are needed to address an energy deficiency or that they would be likely to provide energy at a lower overall cost to customers. Appalachian Power Co., Commonwealth of Virginia State Corp. Comm’n., Case No. PUR-2017-00031, Final Order, April 2, 2018, at 4-5 (Reconsideration Denied, April 20,20 18).

6. The Companies did not present any evidence of commercial or industrial businesses that requested green energy as a condition of becoming customers.

7. The Companies seek protective treatment for certain information filed under seal on February 28,20 18, March 8,201 8, and April 6,20 18.

8. No party has objected to the request for protective treatment.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1. Because of the availability of an ample wholesale purchase option from the PJM energy market, the Companies do not have a need to own or bi-laterally contract for additional energy to meet their internal load requirements.

2. The Commission is required by statute to appraise and balance the interest of current and future utility service customers. W.Va. Code $24- 1 - l(b).

3. The base rate revenue requirement over the entire twenty-five year life of the wind facilities, without the costs being allocated between West Virginia and Virginia, would total $839.6 million.

4. The Companies’ natural gas prices are high compared to the recent natural gas markets and are not supported by current or recent natural gas prices. 

5. The Companies’ fundamentals forecast is overly aggressive on PJM market prices. It is more likely than not that the energy prices will not escalate as rapidly as reflected in the Companies projections.

6. It is not reasonable to rely on speculative carbon regulations that have not been promulgated.

7. The Commission will not rely on the possibility of unnamed commercial or industrial customers who might require green power to become customers of the Companies if that power was more expensive than the market alternative.

8. Because no party has objected to the request for protective treatment and no request has been filed pursuant to W.Va. Code 529B-1-1 et seq., it is reasonable for the Commission to defer ruling on the Second and Third Addendums to the First Motion for Protective Treatment.

ORDER

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Petition for Consent and Approval filed by Appalachian Power Company and Wheeling Power Company on July 5, 2017, is denied and the case is removed from the Commission’s docket of open cases.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a ruling on the requests for permanent protective treatment filed on March 8 and April 13, 2018, is deferred until the filing and review of a request pursuant to the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act, W.Va. Code 529B-1-1 et seq. The Executive Secretary shall maintain the unredacted version of the sealed filings in their current condition, separate and apart from the rest of the file pending further order.

Wvpsc_denial-wind_farm_purchases_thumb
Wvpsc Denial Wind Farm Purchases

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Source: http://www.psc.state.wv.us/...

MAY 30 2018
https://www.windaction.org/posts/48268-wv-psc-order-denying-acquisition-of-wind-facilities-hardin-wind-facility-and-beech-ridge-ii
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