Press Archive


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Coal Forum is cheered by news that First Energy will be keeping the Pleasants Power Station at Willow Island in operation for the next several years.

“This is incredible news, and we are so grateful to the efforts by First Energy and Gov. Jim Justice to keep this facility in operation,” said Coal Forum Co-chairman Chris Hamilton. 

The West Virginia Coal Forum is an organization representing business and labor in the coal industry.


“Our governor has working behind the scenes with President Trump and Energy Secretary (Rick) Perry to keep the Pleasants Power Plant and coal-fired electricity viable for years to come,” Hamilton said. “Recognizing the critical importance for West Virginia and eastern coal production for national security and energy security, Governor Justice has impressed upon the President at every turn to preserve coal-fired utilities for base load generation.”

The Pleasants Power Station is a 1,300-megawatt plant employs 160 people in Pleasants County. It had been slated for deactivation on January 1, 2019, which would have been a major blow to the community. But thankfully First Energy found a path forward that allows for continued operation at Pleasants.

The First Energy subsidiary that operates the plant, Allegheny Energy Supply (AES), is working to transfer ownership of Pleasants to First Energy Solutions (FES), which owns unregulated plants in Ohio and West Virginia. In its notice to PJM, the regional transmission organization, the company said the new June 1, 2022, date of proposed deactivation allows the plant to remain in operation until a transfer of the plant from AES to FES is complete.

“Keeping these 160 plant employees and the hundreds, if not thousands of workers at companies supporting the Pleasants plant is like an early Christmas gift,” Hamilton said. “This is proof of the good things that can happen when you have a governor and president who beli