FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Mon Power has applied for five solar energy projects. 

The five faculties would generate 50 megawatts of clean renewable energy to help make West Virginia more attractive for business development.  

Solar panel on solar site (Nexstar Media Wire)

The application comes after a bill passed by the West Virginia legislature that authorizes electric utilities to own and operate up to 200 megawatts of renewable generation facilities to help meet the state’s electricity needs.  

“We believe this is an exciting new use for several underutilized properties that will diversify our energy sources with clean, renewable options and help us continue to provide safe, reliable power to our customers in West Virginia,” said Jim Myers, president of FirstEnergy’s West Virginia operations. 

Four solar sites would be in a 26-acre reclaimed ash disposal site in Berkeley County, a 51-acre site adjacent to a Mon Power substation in Hancock County, a 95-acre site in Monongalia County and a 44-acre reclaimed strip mine property in Tucker County. All four sites are property owned by Mon Power. A fifth site is still pending.  

Customers who participate in the program would receive the equivalent of one solar renewable energy credit (SREC) for each megawatt hour of energy purchased. To help ensure the development of clean, renewable energy in the state, the cost of the solar generation would be paid for by Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers in West Virginia through a nominal solar surcharge until all the energy credits are purchased by program participants. 

Sign outside of Mon Power headquarters in Fairmont (WBOY Image)

Will Boye, First Energy Mon Power spokesperson said if approved, this would be the first time the company developed solar energy. 

“It’s something that our customers have been asking for several years in West Virginia,” Boye said. “We’ve defiantly gotten inquiries about it … it’s a way for us to supplement our existing energy resources in the state. and it also helps us keep up with energy demand.” 

The application was submitted to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia. If approved the first phase of solar facilities will start to be built in 2022, and all five locations would be expected to be completed before the end of 2025.