PSC signs off on Brooke County power site certificate

CHARLESTON — Energy Solutions Consortium CEO Drew Dorn said he is pleased with the West Virginia Public Service Commission's decision Tuesday to award a siting certificate for a natural gas-fired power plant in Brooke County.

Dorn said the $884 million project "will strongly support the natural gas industry in West Virginia."

"Throughout the region, natural gas power plants are being constructed to use the abundant supply of energy found in the Marcellus Shale Basin," Dorn said. "West Virginia will now join those other states whose economies are benefiting so greatly.”

The 830 megawatt plant would be built in the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources' Cross Creek Wildlife Management Area about two miles south of Colliers, very near the Pennsylvania state line. The energy it generates will be sold on the wholesale market.

In granting the certificate, PSC cited "the evidence, the public support shown for the proposed natural gas-fired electric generating facility, and the benefits that the project will provide to the State and Brooke County."

"It's awesome news," Commissioner Tim Ennis said. "That means they've jumped through another hurdle to make this power plant a reality in Brooke County. It's huge."

Ennis said the benefits the plant will bring to the area are enormous.

"It's not just the tax revenue it will generate, but the jobs," he said. "And the water and sewage that could be extended to that area, an area that doesn't have it now. Those are the benefits to that plant coming out there."

The roughly 830 megawatt plant will feature a pair of combustion turbines driving two combustion turbine generators and a steam turbine, with the power that's generated to be sold to a FirstEnergy substation immediately east of the facility. It will be fed by natural gas and ethane delivered via pipelines that will be constructed and operated by an unidentified third party.

PSC stressed the project, which will create 30 permanent jobs, would not impact West Virginia rate payers. As many as 400 temporary construction jobs also will be realized.

The plant would have a 30-year expected operational life.

Brooke County Power has already negotiated payments in lieu of taxes with the Brooke County Commission and the Brooke County Board of Education, as well as a lease with the Brooke County Commission.

Construction is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2020, with the plant in service in January 2021.


This article was authored by Linda Harris for WV News. Click here to read it on the website.