WV’s Public Service Commission Rules in Favor of Keeping the Mitchell Plant Open!

West Virginia’s Public Service Commission (WV PSC) announced Wednesday evening that they have given the go-ahead for improvements that could extend the operational lives of three coal-fired power plants in the state — John Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell.

This is tremendous news for West Virginia’s state and local economies and a big win for our coal industry!

In the ruling, the WV PSC stated:

“Based on the extensive record before us, we find that the upgrades at all three power Plants are prudent, cost effective, and in the best interest of the current and future utility customers, the State’s economy, and the interests of the Companies,” commissioners wrote.

“The Commission is very concerned about a likely shortage of electricity that shutting down the Mitchell plant prematurely would cause,” PSC Chairwoman Charlotte Lane stated in an announcement about the approval.

“We recognize that in the future, for new power supply resources, we may have to rely more on intermittent resources such as wind and solar. It is premature, however, to begin abandoning our traditional base load power supply resources, which can be upgraded to meet environmental requirements.”

While West Virginia regulators have ruled on the case, regulators in Virginia also have a role to play and will make their decision soon.  We are not out of the woods yet, but this is a massive victory!

I want to thank all Friends of Coal for their engagement on this issue over the past six months.  Your support and your comments have helped move the needle and we remain optimistic the end result will find the Mitchell Power Plant operational through 2040.

We greatly appreciate the efforts of Congressman David McKinley and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for their active and ongoing involvement and for standing up for West Virginia coal and power plant jobs.

And we are grateful to WV PSC Chairperson Charlotte LaneCommissioner Brooks McCabe and Commissioner Renee Larrick for their thoughtful and comprehensive assessment of all issues surrounding this case and their resulting decision.

Thank you!

Chris Hamilton
President, WV Coal Association