Power plants allowed rate hike
On Friday the West Virginia Public Service Commission approved an $85.5 million rate increase for Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power to continue the funding of scrubbers at Appalachian Power’s Mountaineer and John Amos plants.
With the 10 percent increase effective July 1, customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month will see their bills increase from $58.87 to $64.55.
The increase is part of a July 2006 order that allows the utility to annually adjust rates for the construction, fuel and purchase power costs. In total, rates will increase 16 percent by 2009.
Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power, is spending more than $1.4 billion to build scrubbers to help reduce sulfur dioxide emissions to comply with federal and state clean-air laws.
The scrubber at the Mountaineer plant went online in early 2007, and the first scrubber at the John Amos plant will begin operation in 2008.
Of the $85.5 million increase, about $28.5 million will cover scrubber construction costs as well as costs of a transmission line from Wyoming County to Virginia. In addition, $54.8 million is for fuel costs and purchased power.
The PSC also approved an additional $2.2 million increase to help Appalachian Power fund the rehabilitation of four small electric utilities in McDowell County that the company will take over on July 1.