Company buys and will clean up Picway coal plant site in Ohio

Commercial Development Co. Inc. (CDC), a North American commercial real estate and brownfield redevelopment company, announced July 5 the acquisition by an affiliate of the 468-acre site in Ohio for American Electric Power’s (NYSE: AEP) retired Picway coal plant.

CDC and affiliate Environmental Liability Transfer Inc. have assumed responsibility for environmental liabilities associated with the site. AEP’s Picway plant began operations in 1926 and is located along the Scioto River in Lockbourne, Ohio. While operational, the plant generated 100 MW and used more than 220,000 tons of coal annually. The plant’s last operating unit retired in May 2015 as part of a series of coal plant retirements in the region undertaken by AEP. 

Decades of coal plant operations prohibited a traditional real estate transaction, CDC noted. An environmental liability transfer and remediation plan proposed by CDC will enable the site to be redeveloped. EnviroAnalytics Group (EAG) another CDC affiliate, will commence a series of projects, including: soil and groundwater remediation; asbestos abatement; ash pond closure; removal of residual coal; environmental monitoring; and demolition of some existing structures. The expected timeline for completion is three years, at which point the site will be ready for re-development. EAG is working with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to finalize the remedial plan.

Throughout the remediation process, CDC will be performing land studies, market assessments, and meeting with community stakeholders to determine the highest and best use for this site going forward. The site is located 12 miles south of downtown Columbus, Ohio, along the Scioto River. With direct riverfront access, easy access to Scioto Downs, and located within five miles of the Rickenbacker International Airport, CDC considers this an excellent prospective site  for a variety of vertical development purposes.

“We consider the AEP plant in Pickaway Country a tremendous opportunity for new development, and we are very excited to see the economic and environmental benefits this transaction brings to the Columbus area” said Doug Willett, Executive Vice President at Environmental Liability Transfer Inc. “Our acquisition and environmental liability assumption of this strategically-located site is the first step toward repurposing this property and returning it to productive use.”

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.