AEP Ohio plans to retire 1,900 MW of coal by June 2015

In February 2012, AEP Ohio officially retired the coal-fired, 450-MW Sporn Unit 5 and at the end of 2012, the 165-MW Conesville Unit 3, with other coal unit retirements coming up.

In an Environmental Compliance Plan filed April 15 at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, AEP Ohio said that it will retire approximately 1,900 MW of capacity by June 1, 2015. Furthermore, based on a February 2013 modification of a New Source Review (NSR) Consent Decree with the federal government, Muskingum River Unit 5 will be  forced to stop burning coal by 2015; however, in lieu of retirement, the unit still has the option to be refueled with natural gas by Dec. 31, 2017, said this American Electric Power subsidiary (NYSE: AEP).

The coal unit retirements by June 2015 are:

  • Kammer Units 1-3, West Virginia, 630 MW;
  • Muskingum River Units 1-4, Ohio, 840 MW;
  • Beckjord Unit 6, Ohio, 53 MW (AEP Ohio share of larger unit);
  • Picway Unit 5, Ohio, 100 MW; and
  • Philip Sporn Units 2 and 4, West Virginia, 300 MW.

The filing also includes a list of AEP Ohio coal plants and their current and planned emissions control technologies out to 2020. The future installations, which are relatively few, are:

  • Conesville Units 5-6, activated carbon injection (ACI) for mercury control, to be installed after 2012 but no specified time; and
  • Gavin Units 1-2, to be installed post-2012, flue gas desulfurization (FGD) upgrades and ACI.

As part of its renewable energy compliance effort, AEP Ohio signed a 20-year agreement to purchase the entire output of the 10.1 MW Wyandot Solar Project located near Upper Sandusky, Ohio, as well as a 20-year agreement to purchase the entire output of the 99 MW Timber Road Wind Farm located in Paulding County, Ohio. To meet other in-state renewable energy requirements, AEP has issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) and contracts for both renewable energy resources and biodiesel fuel sources. These projects will directly reduce the amount of fossil-fuel generated energy, and thus greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with serving AEP Ohio’s customers.

Consistent with AEP Ohio’s commission-approved corporate separation plan, effective Jan. 1, 2014, AEP Ohio will transfer its generating units and associated assets to AEP Generation Resources (AEPGR). Immediately after closing of the asset transfer, AEPGR will transfer AEP Ohio’s former share of Amos Unit 3 (867 MW) to Appalachian Power (APCo). In a similar transaction, AEPGR will transfer AEP Ohio’s former, coal-fired Mitchell Generating Station (two units with average annual capacity rating of 1,560 MW) to APCo and Kentucky Power (KPCo). APCo and KPCo, both units of AEP, will each obtain a 50% undivided interest in Mitchell. AEP has requested approval of these transactions from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and appropriate state regulatory commissions. AEP expects to obtain all necessary approvals before the end of the third quarter 2013 and close the transactions on Dec. 31, 2013.

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.