West Virginia Electricity FAQs

Q. What power sources are used to generate electricity in WV?

A.  This table shows the capacity of power plants in West Virginia, as of 2009 :

 Energy Type    MW          Percent of Total
 Coal15,371.5 89% 
Natural Gas 1205 7% 
 Wind3302% 
 Hydro324.6  2%
 TOTAL17,231.1 100% 

Q.  What fraction of the electricity generated in West Virginia from coal and natural gas is generated at power plants owned by West Virginia's utilities?

A.  About 40%

Q.  How about the wind farms?  Where does their power go?

A. The operating wind farms in West Virginia, Mountaineer and Mt. Storm, do not sell their power to West Virginia utilities.  The Beech Ridge wind farm will sell power to Appalachian Power.  Currently Appalachian Power sources all of its wind power purchases from wind farms in Illinois and Indiana.

Q.  What is the total amount of electricity generated in West Virginia?  How much electricity is consumed in WV?

A. In 2010, power plants in WV generated 79,000 GWh of electricity (excluding hydropower plants).  About 31,000 GWh were generated at power plants owned by our utilities.  WV utility customers used 30,000 GWh in 2009. 

Q. Where does the coal come from for West Virginia's coal plants?

A. This table shows the amount of coal delivered to West Virginia power plants under long-term contracts (represents about 94% of coal delivered to power plants) in 2010:

 Source RegionTons of Coal Percent 
WV16,557,86753% 
 Non-WV Appalachia13,071,612 42% 
Illinois 438,150 1% 
West 790,490 3% 
Colombia 241,148 1% 

Q. How much have residential electricity rates increased in recent years for West Virginians?

A. The following table shows the  utility rate increases for West Virginians in different utility areas.

  Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power Mon Power and Potomac Edison 
 Rates a few years ago $4/month fixed charge
6.455 cents/kWh (under 500 kWh)
5.237 cents/kWh (over 500 kWh)
Effective 7/1/2007
$4/month fixed charge
6.854 cents/kWh

Effective 1/15/2008 
 Current Rates$5/month fixed charge
9.604 cents/kWh (under 500 kWh)
8.394 cents/kWh (over 500 kWh)
$5/month fixed charge
9.088 cents/kWh
 Percent Increase for customers using 1000 kWh/month 58%32% 
 

Q. Which of West Virginia's coal plants are most at-risk of retirement under new air pollution regulations?  How much capacity total?

A.  This table shows all coal plants in WV that are wholly or partially owned by WV utilities.  Coal plants that are old and infrequently used (low capacity factor) and lack pollution-control scrubbers are most at-risk of retirement.  Appalachian Power has already announced the retirement of some of its plants.  The highlighted plants are old, small plants without pollution control equipment (scrubbers) that are likely candidates for retirement.  They have a total capacity of 1.5 GW (about 20% of the total in-state coal capacity owned by WV utilities).

Plant Name Unit Number % Owned by WV utility Capacity (MW)Scrubber?Age in 2011 (years) 2010 Capacity Factor Planned Retirement Year
 Harrison Power Station20.54 684 yes 39 0.7  
Harrison Power Station 220.54 684 yes 38 0.66  
Harrison Power Station 320.54 684 yes 37 0.69  
 Pleasants Power Station 17.69 684 yes 32 0.66 
 Pleasants Power Station7.69 684 yes 31  0.73 
 Grant Town Power Plant100 95.7 19 0.60  
John E Amos 100 816.3 yes 40 0.40  
John E Amos 100 816.3 yes 39 0.56  
 John E Amos100 1300 yes 38 0.75  
 Kanawha River100 219.6 no 58 0.20 2018 
 Kanawha River 2100 219.6 no 58 0.40 2018 
 Philip Sporn100 152.5 no 61 0.50 2017 
 Philip Sporn100 152.5 no 60 0.38 2017 
 Montaineer100 1300 yes 31 0.71  
Albright 100 69 no 59 0.14  2012
Allbright 100 69 no 59 0.19  2012
Albright 100 140.2 no 57 0.31  2012
Fort Martin Power Station 100 576 yes 44 0.65  
Fort Martin Power Station 100 576 yes 43 0.61  
Rivesville 100 35 no 68 0.00  2012
 Rivesville100 74.7 no 60 0.00  2012
Willow Island 100 50 no 62 0.13  2012
Willow Island 100 163.2 no 51 0.05  2012
Morgantown Energy Facility 100 68.920  


Q. Where can I find more information?

A.        Energy Information Administration: www.eia.gov

                        Detailed information on power plants: www.eia.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/data.html

            American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy: www.aceee.org

                        Energy Efficiency Resource Standards: www.aceee.org/topics/eers

                        State Scorecard on energy efficiency: www.aceee.org/sector/state-policy/scorecard

                        Replacing coal with efficiency: www.aceee.org/white-paper/avoiding-a-train-wreck

            Pew Center on Climate Change's State Policy page: www.pewclimate.org/states-regions

            The Power Line: www.calhounpowerline.com

            Energy Efficient WV: www.eewv.org

            WV Public Service Commission: www.psc.state.wv.us

                        Search for cases: www.psc.state.wv.us/WebDocket/default.htm



Sources for this FAQ:

Energy Information Administration:

            Form 860 (power plant ownership data)

            Form 923 (power plant generation data)

            Form 423 (power plant coal contract data)

West Virginia Public Service Commission:

            Rate cases: 07-0930 (Allegheny Power); 07-0248 (Appalachian Power); 11-0174 (Appalachian      Power)

            Wind power purchase agreements: 07-1731; 07-1848; 08-1600; 09-0305

            Alternative and Renewable Portfolio Standard cases (reference current power consumption):

            10-1914 and 10-1912

Environmental Protection Agency National Electric Energy Data System version 4.10

            www.epa.gov/airmarkets/progsregs/epa-ipm/BaseCasev410.html

Mon Power and Potomac Edison current residential rates:             http://www.alleghenypower.com/Tariffs/WV/Wvpetariffs/wvpetariff.asp