West Virginia PSC issues first-ever solar site certificate to Tri-State

The West Virginia Public Service Commission on July 14 approved a September 2015 application from Tri-State Solar/Wind Energy LLC for a Siting Certificate to build a 5.3-MW solar facility located on 16 acres in Crawley, Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

Tri-State told the commission it has begun the interconnection process with local utility Appalachian Power Co. Tri-State provided PSC staff with a PJM Interconnection project number on June 28. Staff confirmed with PJM that Tri-State has begun the process of working with PJM to facilitate this project.

Tri-State has engaged Terradon, an engineering firm, to perform stream and wetland delineation services for the project site because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had identified non-jurisdictional wetlands on the site, a concern that would need to be addressed by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

The commission noted in the July 14 approval order: “Tri-State has filed the first application for a Siting Certificate for a solar project in West Virginia. The application process has been unusual for all parties involved. Not only is this the first solar Siting Certificate application before the Commission, but the proposed project has a smaller geographic footprint, construction cost, and megawatt power output than has been presented historically to the Commission in other electric wholesale generating plant cases. The Application was not complete when filed and Staff has worked throughout the case to assist Tri-State in completing the Application. TriState has demonstrated a sufficient interest in constructing this small solar farm project. Tri-State has a legitimate business purpose in undertaking the Project and has developed information in support of its Application. Tri-State has expended time and economic resources to apply for a Siting Certificate and to obtain various other permits, agreements and real property interests necessary to construct and operate the Project.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.