West Virginia's Public Service Commission has approved Appalachian Power Company's petition to acquire two-thirds of the John E. Amos 3 generating unit in Winfield, saying it will not impact rates.
APCo last year had petitioned the PSC for permission to transfer the generating capacity from its affiliate, Ohio Power Company, because of a significant deficit in generating capacity for its West Virginia customers.
In the same order, the PSC deferred ruling on a proposed merger of Wheeling Power Company into APCo, saying the companies must provide a longer-term, achievable and economic plan to serve the Wheeling Power Co. load before the merger can be consummated. The Amos acquisition will resolve APCo's generation capacity deficit without the merger until 2015, when APCo plans to retire other generation facilities, the PSC said in its ruling.
The Commission also deferred ruling on APCo's proposal to acquire one-half of the Mitchell Power Plant. The Mitchell acquisition requires the approval of both the Virginia State Corporation Commission and the PSC here in West Virginia, but it's already been denied by the VSCC.
In its Dec. 13 order the PSC stated that "reliance on a transaction that is critical to an overall long-term capacity plan but which cannot go forward because of regulatory roadblocks in other jurisdictions, is not realistic or reasonable at this time."
Intervenors in the cases included the Consumer Advocate Division ; West Virginia Energy Users Group; the West Virginia Citizen Action Group; the Sierra Club; the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association; the West Virginia Building and Trades Council, AFL-CIO; and Steel of West Virginia.
APCo and WPCo together serve more than 478,000 customers in West Virginia.