CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Appalachian Power, along with Wheeling Power, today submitted two filings to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) requesting approval and cost recovery for multiple renewable energy projects. Customers who purchase renewable energy from the projects would do so through a proposed Renewable Power Plus (RPP) tariff. The tariff is aimed primarily at attracting larger companies with ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) needs, while providing a stable, reasonable cost renewable solution for all existing customers.
It is anticipated that the costs of the renewable projects will be paid by the subscribing customers and further offset by the cost of service benefits produced by the renewable projects. Over the first decade of operation the proposed renewable projects are expected to result in a roughly $22 million reduction in West Virginia customer rates.
“In 2020 state political leaders passed renewable energy legislation, Senate Bill 583, touting it as an important tool to recruit businesses with sustainability goals to West Virginia without displacing coal-fired generation,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and COO. “Having renewable energy in the mix was a key factor in Nucor Corporation’s recent decision to locate its $2.7 billion steel mill in the state. In fact, between Nucor’s commitment and interest from existing large energy users, we can fully subscribe the West Virginia share of energy from the renewable projects we are filing today and still need more.”
One filing is for approval and cost recovery of the proposed 50 MW Bedington solar project, which will be constructed in Berkeley County. The project is Appalachian Power’s first to follow provisions of Senate Bill 583, signed into law in 2020, which encourages solar project development on brownfield sites in West Virginia.
A second filing requests approval and cost recovery of a 204 MW wind energy project in Logan County, Ill., a 150 MW solar facility in Pittsylvania County, Va., and a 4.9 MW solar project in Amherst County, Va., all of which the company will own. The filing also seeks regulatory approval to enter into power purchase agreements (PPAs) for three Virginia solar facilities that will add approximately 89 MW of power to the company’s energy supply.
West Virginia jurisdictional costs of the Bedington solar project will be collected through the new West Virginia Solar (WVS) rider. Costs for the solar and wind projects the company will own would be collected through a construction surcharge until new base rates are implemented. Costs of the PPA solar facilities would be recovered through the Expanded Net Energy Cost (ENEC), like any other purchased power expense.
On December 30, 2021, Appalachian Power filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (VSCC) for approval of the same projects, as well as cost recovery for the Virginia jurisdictional share of those projects, as part of its plan to meet requirements of the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA).
Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is part of American Electric Power, which is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions. AEP’s approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million customers in 11 states. AEP is also one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 5,900 megawatts of renewable energy.