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Call for Support: Solar Power Plant Viability Threatened

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Call for Support: Solar Power Plant Viability Threatened

I am writing to request your help in contacting your elected officials to request Legislative accord with Governor Tomblin’s technical veto of HB 2201. The Monongalia County Urban Mass Transit System (Mountain Line) has invested in a large Solar Power Plant covered by HB 2201. Our power plant’s viability is threatened by HB 2201.

 

The Authority is concerned HB 2201 opens the door for unjustified, on-going charges for physical connections to facilities and infrastructure.  These charges threaten the viability of our power plant’s operations and will result in a reduction of transit service, because of lost revenues currently generated by our solar power plant operation.

 

In 2010, the Authority received a Tiger Grant from the Federal Transit Administration to construct a solar power plant at our Westover, WV maintenance facility. This $1.1 million dollar power plant generates some 140 kW of electricity per year. The Authority net meters our electricity.  In combination with Clean Energy Credits, the Authority generates electric utility savings, enough to allow us to provide 255 hours of cost-free transit services per year.

 

Mountain Line averages 20 passenger rides per hour. The 255 hours of cost-free transit services translates to daily trips to and from work for 10 people. The financial benefit these people receive isn’t limited to employment as these same people can forego owning a car, meaning each person has approximately $10,000 dollars per year in additional, expendable income.  This additional expendable income can be instead spent supporting businesses in our local community.

 

I implore the Legislature to consider the Governor’s technical veto of HB 2201, but I further encourage our representatives to consider the logic behind this Bill that will ultimately create a larger burden on the taxpayer by eliminating a revenue source that it duty free to the voters of Monongalia County and West Virginia.  Transit service provides enumerable benefits to not only Mon County residents, but it also helps students from across the State by providing subsidy for the 800,000 annual rides taken by students, faculty and staff affiliated with WVU.  I am deeply concerned HB 2201 will create an unearned windfall for our utilities at the expense of the general public.  As it stands, HB 2201 may soon become Transit Service Reduction Bill 2201.

 

I respectfully request the Legislature heed Governor Tomblin’s justified veto of HB 2201 and protect the Authority’s public investment in our Solar Power Plant and I encourage you, as patrons of the Transit Authority, to make the same request of our Legislators today.

 

David A. Bruffy

General Manager

Mountain Line Transit Authority

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Action needs to be taken today, tomorrow may be too late.

Contact:
Barbara Evans Fleischauer - barbaraf@wvhouse.gov

Robert D. Beach - bob.beach@wvsenate.gov

Roman Prezioso - roman.prezioso@wvsenate.gov

Jeffrey V. Kessler - jeff.kessler@wvsenate.gov

Amanda Pasdon - amanda@amandapasdon.com

Cindy Frich - cindy.frich@wvhouse.gov

Brian Kurcaba - brian.kurcaba@wvhouse.gov

Joe Statler - joe.statler@wvhouse.gov

Bob Williams - bob.williams@wvsenate.gov

Kent Leonhardt - Kent.Leonhardt@wvsenate.gov

Chris Walters - chris.walters@wvsenate.gov

 

- See more at: http://www.busride.org/NewsEvents/tabid/7729/token/detail/nid/209/Default.aspx#sthash.4ga1lhAW.dpuf

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