CHARLESTON, W.Va. – On Friday, the Public Service Commission of West Virginia granted several certificates to authorize the construction and operation of two electric wholesale generating facilities and one high-voltage electric transmission line in Monongalia County, subject to certain conditions, according to a news release from the PSC.

Longview Power II, LLC was granted a siting certificate for the construction and operation of a 1,200 MW natural gas-fired electric combined cycle gas turbine facility (CCGT facility) and a certificate of convenience and necessity for a 5,500 foot 500 kV related transmission line, the release said. The PSC also granted a siting certificate to Longview Renewable Power, LLC for the construction and operation of 20 MW of a 70 MW direct current utility scale solar facility in West Virginia. The remainder of the solar facility located will be located in Pennsylvania, officials said.

The project, when combined with the existing 710 MW coal-fired facility owned by affiliate Longview Power, LLC could produce nearly 2,000 MW of generating capacity, officials said. The CCGT facility will be low emission and relatively low cost for each megawatt produced and should be a consistent baseload resource providing reliable clean power as a merchant generator selling into the PJM market, according to the PSC. The CCGT facility would include a 500 kV transmission line extending approximately three-quarters of a mile north from the facility to the North Longview Switchyard in Pennsylvania. The West Virginia portion of the solar facility would consist of four separate array fields totaling 127 acres, producing approximately 30,000 MWh per year, the news release said.

Leading up to the decision, environmental groups have spoken out against the project.

The project will be located on reclaimed mine land owned by Longview Power and its affiliates. Locating the new project in close proximity to the coal-fired facility will allow the existing and new facilities to use the currently installed infrastructure, including water, steam, and power. The Companies plan to complete construction by March 2024. The estimated construction cost for the CCGT facility is $1.1 billion, officials said.

The Commission stated in its Order that the project will provide wholesale electric service, will not directly impact West Virginia retail ratepayers and that the project is in the interest of the state and local economy, because there will be a positive impact on local employment and significant economic gain to the state and local economies, according to the news release.

You can find more information about the decision on the PSC’s website.