Mon Power and Potomac Edison, subsidiaries of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), have signed an agreement with the town of Harpers Ferry in West Virginia to advance the use of clean energy. The town has committed to a subscription equal to 100% of its streetlight and town hall energy usage in support of the companies’ generation of solar power.
Harpers Ferry’s commitment brings Mon Power and Potomac Edison closer to beginning construction on five proposed solar facilities. The companies received conditional approval from the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) for the projects, which will together total 50 MW of renewable solar generation across the five solar sites.
“Support of this solar initiative is good governance, and municipal, county and state government entities should lead by example,” says Harpers Ferry Mayor Gregory Vaughn. “We must look beyond the present and how we have always functioned to strategically think and plan for how we meet, manage and fulfill future energy requirements. Harpers Ferry’s decision to support the solar initiative was unanimous, receiving my overwhelming support as well as that from all members of the town council.”
Mon Power and Potomac Edison will seek final approval of the project from the PSC once they have subscription commitments from other municipalities, residential, commercial and industrial customers that achieve a combined total of at least 85% of the energy produced by the facilities. In addition to the commitment from Harpers Ferry, hundreds of residential customers across West Virginia have signed up to participate in the solar program.
“We believe the commitment from Harpers Ferry and residential customers shows growing interest in the development of renewable energy in West Virginia,” comments Jim Myers, president of FirstEnergy’s West Virginia Operations. “We look forward to working with more customers who have an interest in supporting the clean energy transition through solar power.”
Mon Power will build, own and operate the five solar facilities, which are located on property owned by Mon Power or its affiliates. The locations include a 26-acre reclaimed ash disposal site in Berkeley County, a 51-acre site adjacent to a Mon Power substation in Hancock County, a 27-acre retired ash disposal site in Marion County, a 95-acre site in Monongalia County Adjacent to Fort Martin Power Station and a 44-acre reclaimed strip mine property in Tucker County.
When fully operational, the five projects planned by Mon Power and Potomac Edison are expected to create approximately 87,000 SRECs per year. SRECs are certificates that represent the environmental attributes of solar power and certify solar energy was generated on the purchasers’ behalf. For every MWh of solar renewable electricity generated, one SREC is produced.
Participation in the solar program is first come, first served. The overall subscription cost is 4 cents per kwh in addition to normal rates, and customers can choose from a variety of SREC subscription levels and term lengths. Residential customers can support the program by purchasing a SREC over time at monthly levels of 50 kwh ($2 per month), 100 kwh ($4 per month), 200 kwh ($8 per month) or more. Commercial and industrial customers will be able to choose a subscription level that reflects a percentage of their monthly energy consumption through special contracts with their utility.
Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers who make a commitment for SRECs now are not expected to begin incurring charges until early 2025.