CHARLESTON – A state regulatory agency has issued necessary approvals for a $1.1 billion power plant slated to be built in Monongalia County.
The Public Service Commission of West Virginia on Friday granted a Joint Application for a Siting Certificate and a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity to authorize the construction and operation of two electric wholesale generating facilities and one high-voltage electric transmission line in Monongalia County, subject to certain conditions.
Longview Power II LLC was granted a siting certificate for the construction and operation of a 1,200 megawatt natural gas-fired electric combined cycle gas turbine facility and a certificate of convenience and necessity for a 5,500 foot 500 kV related transmission line. The PSC also granted a siting certificate to Longview Renewable Power LLC for the construction and operation of 20 megawatt of a 70 megawatt direct current utility scale solar facility in West Virginia. The remainder of the solar facility will be in Pennsylvania.
President and CEO Jeff Keffer said plans call for construction to be done by union labor and will involve as many as 5,000 jobs. When the project is finished by its projected time of March 2024, it will create 180 new jobs and have an annual payroll of $22.5 million.
The new power plant project will be adjacent to Longview’s combined existing, adjacent 710 megawatt coal-fired facility owned by affiliate Longview Power LLC could produce nearly 2,000 megawatt of generating capacity. The combined cycle gas turbine plant will include two advanced class gas turbines with a high efficiency, secondary cycle steam turbine system that will result in class-leading plant efficiency or heat rate.
Keffer said the plant will be low emission and relatively low cost for each megawatt produced and should be a consistent baseload resource providing reliable clean power as a merchant generator selling into the PJM market. The CCGT facility would include a 500 kilovolt transmission line extending approximately three-quarters of a mile north from the facility to the North Longview Switchyard in Pennsylvania. The West Virginia portion of the solar facility would consist of four separate array fields totaling 127 acres, producing approximately 30,000 megawatt hours per year.
The project will be located on reclaimed mine land owned by Longview Power and its affiliates. Locating the new project in close proximity to the coal-fired facility will allow the existing and new facilities to use the currently installed infrastructure, including water, steam and power.
The Commission stated in its Order that the project will provide wholesale electric service, will not directly impact West Virginia retail ratepayers and that the project is in the interest of the state and local economy because there will be a positive impact on local employment and significant economic gain to the state and local economies.