FirstEnergy subsidiaries Mon Power and Potomac Edison are accepting customer commitments to purchase solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) from five utility-scale solar facilities planned for the companies’ West Virginia service territory, they announced Thursday.
They recently received conditional approval from the Public Service Commission for the five projects, which will together total 50 megawatts of renewable solar generation, which they said will help make West Virginia more attractive for business development.
SRECs are certificates that represent the environmental attributes of solar power and prove solar energy was generated on the purchasers’ behalf. For every megawatt hour of solar energy generated, one SREC is produced.
When fully operational, the five projects are expected to create more than 87,000 SRECs per year.
With an overall subscription cost of 4 cents per kilowatt hour in addition to normal rates, customers will be able to choose from a variety of SREC subscription levels and term lengths with pricing options that allow for broad participation in the West Virginia solar program.
Commercial and industrial customers will be able to choose a subscription level that reflects a percentage of their monthly energy consumption. Residential customers can support the program by purchasing a SREC over time at monthly levels of 50 kilowatt hours ($2 per month), 100 kilowatt hours ($4 per month), 200 kilowatt hours ($8 per month) or more.
When Mon Power and Potomac Edison have obtained customer commitments for 85% of the renewable energy credits generated by a solar facility, the companies will seek final approval from the commission for a ratepayer surcharge to cover the balance of the project costs and begin full-scale construction.
Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers who make a commitment for SRECs now are not expected to begin incurring charges until early 2024.
“We are excited for our solar program to get underway and look forward to connecting with customers who have expressed interest in solar power and supporting renewable energy in West Virginia,” said Jim Myers, president of FirstEnergy’s West Virginia operations.
The solar program stems from a 2020 bill passed by the West Virginia Legislature that authorizes electric utilities to own and operate up to 200 megawatts of solar renewable generation facilities to help meet the state’s electricity needs.
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 are:
- a 26-acre reclaimed ash disposal site in Berkeley County;
- 51-acre site adjacent to a Mon Power substation in Hancock County;
- 27-acre retired ash disposal site in Marion County;
- 95-acre site in Monongalia County adjacent to Fort Martin Power Station;
- 44-acre reclaimed strip mine property in Tucker County.
To subscribe or find out more about the solar program, Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers in West Virginia can submit their information at www.firstenergycorp.com/WVSolar or by calling 800-505-7283.