Todd Meyers, a Mon Power spokesman, said in an email that the company will review the order and “carefully evaluate” its next options.

In a filing on behalf of opposition groups, an energy and environmental consultant’s analysis painted a bleaker picture in regards to the Pleasants deal. It concluded the deal could cost customers $470 million over 15 years.

“We are disappointed by FERC’s order, and believe the decision does not recognize the benefits this vital transaction would bring to our West Virginia customers, including reliable electricity and reduced electric rates, along with creating additional benefits for West Virginia’s economy,” he said.

The state Consumer Advocate Division had submitted a protest asking for the FERC to reject the deal, saying the deal was intentionally structured so FirstEnergy “could avoid a further write off of its investment in an aging coal plant that is no longer economic in wholesale markets” and have captive West Virginia ratepayers foot the bill.

“They have legal options that they may or may not pursue, but certainly given the strong ruling we got from FERC today, we feel very confident that the proposed transaction doesn’t meet federal standards,” he said.

The FERC’s order specifically cited Mon Power’s narrow request for proposal (RFP) issued in December as a reason for its rejection. A company issues an RFP when it seeks additional generation capacity, weighing offers from companies that could sell other power sources to get the lowest rate for consumers. Advocacy groups had argued Mon Power’s RFP was too narrow, specifically requesting to acquire 1,300 megawatts of additional power, the exact amount the Pleasants plant can generate.

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