FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) has completed the closure of an ash landfill for the former R. Paul Smith Power Station in Berkeley County, West Virginia, successfully paving the way to repurpose the 26-acre property for a planned utility-scale solar facility.
Allegheny Energy Supply Company, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy, recently received approval from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to end environmental monitoring at the landfill after permanently closing the facility by removing all regulated materials. The landfill's closure was the conclusion of a successful 20-year effort to beneficially reuse the plant's ash byproduct in cement manufacturing. FirstEnergy harvested 3.1 million tons of ash that was sold to two major cement manufacturers to fuel their cement kilns.
Located across the Potomac River from the R. Paul Smith property in Maryland, the Berkeley County site is one of five locations where Mon Power, one of FirstEnergy's two electric companies in West Virginia, plans to build a solar facility as part of a new West Virginia solar program.
"The reclamation and closure of this former landfill has generated a positive economic impact for our company, and as the future home for one of our solar projects in West Virginia, it symbolizes our efforts to build a brighter and more sustainable future for the communities we serve," said Mark Vindivich, a manager in FirstEnergy's environmental department who oversaw the project.
The company began working with the state on a plan to close the landfill in 2015, three years after closure of the R. Paul Smith Power Station. Activities included removing infrastructure such as piping and engineered liner while decommissioning two dams on the property. In June 2022, FirstEnergy's request to end environmental monitoring under the solid waste permit was approved by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, marking the first time a company has earned this type of approval in West Virginia.
Mon Power intends to build a six-megawatt solar facility at the 26-acre site as part of a plan to construct five utility-scale solar facilities, totaling 50 megawatts of renewable generation, to help make West Virginia more attractive for business development. Mon Power and Potomac Edison are currently accepting West Virginia customer subscriptions to purchase power from these facilities through solar renewable energy credits (SRECs). To learn more or subscribe to the solar program, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/WVSolar, or call 1-800-505-7283 to enroll by phone.