AMP-Ohio wins temporary extension for power line to unbuilt power plant

An administrative law judge at the Ohio Power Siting Board on May 22 approved, on an interim basis until the board itself can rule, a request by American Municipal Power-Ohio Inc. to extend the expiration date on an approval for a power line that was to serve an abandoned coal-fired power project in Meigs County, Ohio.

In 2007, American Municipal Power-Ohio had applied for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to construct an electric transmission line and related facilities necessary to transmit the electricity generated by the 1,000-MW, coal-fired American Municipal Power Generating Station (AMP Generating Station) in Meigs County. The AMP Generating Station was approved by the board in 2008. But AMP-Ohio later terminated the project after its projected costs shot up. It has lately been keeping the plant site in waiting for other possible power projects.

In November 2008, in the transmission line case, the board authorized the construction, operation, and maintenance of the transmission line. The board’s order provided that if AMP-Ohio has not commenced a continuous course of construction of the transmission line within five years of the issuance of the order, the certificate for the transmission line would become invalid. In 2013, AMP-Ohio asked for an 18-month extension.

“AMP-Ohio represented that, due to an unexpected increase in capital costs related to the AMP Generating Station, AMP-Ohio was exploring the possibility of converting the AMP Generating Station to a natural gas combined cycle facility at the site and that the Board had granted an extension of the certificate to construct the AMP Generating Station in the Generating Station Case on December 17, 2012,” the ALJ noted. “Therefore, in this case, in order to facilitate further consideration of the conversion of the AMP Generating Station to a natural gas facility, AMP-Ohio requested that the certificate authorized in the Transmission Line Case also be extended for 18 months. Accordingly, by Entry issued September 30, 2013, the Board granted an extension of the certificate issued in the Transmission Line Case for a period of 18 months, or until May 24, 2015.

“On April 24, 2015, AMP-Ohio filed a second motion to extend the certificate authorized in the Transmission Line Case from May 24, 2015, to March 3, 2016. AMP-Ohio noted that, in the related Generating Station Case, the Board previously granted an extension of the AMP Generating Station certificate for an additional 18 months, until March 3, 2016. In this second motion for extension at issue before the Board in this Entry, AMP-Ohio requests that the transmission line certificate be extended to align with the AMP Generating Station certificate, because the transmission line was proposed solely to serve the AMP Generating Station.

“The administrative law judge finds that AMP-Ohio’s April 24, 2015 motion to extend the certificate issued in the Transmission Line Case, should be granted, until such time as the Board convenes to consider the motion.”

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.