Energy, Environment

Mon Power, Potomac Edison start work on Rivesville solar plant site

MORGANTOWN — Mon Power and Potomac Edison have begun work on their second of five planned solar power sites.

With their Fort Martin site up and running, the companies are now preparing a 27-acre brownfield near Rivesville in Marion County for their second facility.

This site sits on both sides of Morgan Ridge Road, on property the companies own and once used as an ash disposal site for the retired Rivesville Power Station.

The Rivesville site is expected to be complete by the end of 2024, the companies said, and will produce up to 5.5 megawatts (MW) of power. One MW powers a national average of 173 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Jim Myers, president of FirstEnergy’s West Virginia Operations, said in a release, “We are proud to be transforming a former coal ash disposal site into a source of clean renewable energy for our customers. We believe the energy generated by our West Virginia solar sites will continue to encourage economic development in the state because a growing number of companies require a portion of the electricity they purchase to be generated by renewable sources.”

The companies are employing local union workers for the project, as they did for the Fort Martin site. In recent weeks, they said, crews have prepared the Rivesville site by removing trees, constructing roads and installing fences ahead of upcoming electrical and mechanical work. The solar panels, racking systems and supporting electrical equipment for the site are made in the United States.

The companies held a kickoff celebration and “flip the switch” day for the Fort Martin site, by their coal-fired Fort Martin plant in Maidsville, in early January. That site can generate 18.9 MW per hour.

One other planned solar site has Public Service Commission approval: a 26-acre reclaimed ash disposal site in Marlowe, Berkeley County, with 5.7 MW capacity. Construction is also expected to be complete by the end of this year.

Mon Power will return to the PSC later this year for final approval on two other sites: a 51-acre site in Wylie Ridge, adjacent to a Mon Power substation in Weirton, Hancock County, 8.4 MW; and a 44-acre reclaimed strip mine property near Davis in Tucker County, 11.5 MW. Construction of these is expected to be complete by the end of 2025.

Each site needs to reach the 85% SREC — solar renewable energy credit — subscription threshold required by state law before the PSC can grant approval. Construction of these is expected to be complete by the end of 2025.


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