Columbus, Ohio, June 9, 2011 — American Electric Power publicized the company's plan for complying with a series of regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would impact coal-fueled power plants.
Based on the regulations as proposed, AEP's compliance plan would retire nearly 6,000 MW of coal-fueled power generation; upgrade or install new advanced emissions reduction equipment on another 10,100 MW; refuel 1,070 MW of coal generation as 932 MW of natural gas capacity; and build 1,220 MW of natural gas-fueled generation.
The cost of AEP's compliance plan could range from $6 billion to $8 billion in capital investment through the end of the decade. High demand for labor and materials due to a constrained compliance time frame could drive actual costs higher than these estimates. The plan, including retirements, could change significantly depending on the final form of the EPA regulations and regulatory approvals from state commissions.
The retirements and retrofits in the plan are in addition to more than $7.2 billion that AEP has invested since 1990 to reduce emissions from its coal-fueled generation fleet. Annual emissions of nitrogen oxides from AEP plants are 80 percent lower today than in 1990. Sulfur dioxide emissions from AEP plants are 73 percent lower than in 1990.
The company currently owns nearly 25,000 MW of coal-fueled generation, about 65 percent of its total generating capacity. Coal would fuel about 57 percent of AEP's total generating capacity by the end of the decade.
Although some jobs would be created from the installation of emissions reduction equipment, AEP expects a net loss of about 600 power plant jobs with annual wages totaling about $40 million as a result of compliance with the proposed EPA rules.
AEP's current plan for compliance with the rules as proposed includes permanently retiring the following coal-fueled power plants:
* Glen Lyn Plant, Glen Lyn, Va. — 335 MW (retired by Dec. 31, 2014);
* Kammer Plant, Moundsville, W.Va. — 630 MW (retired by Dec. 31, 2014);
* Kanawha River Plant, Glasgow, W.Va. — 400 MW (retired by Dec. 31, 2014);
* Phillip Sporn Plant, New Haven, W.Va. — 1,050 MW (450 MW expected to retire in 2011, 600 MW retired by Dec. 31, 2014); and
* Picway Plant, Lockbourne, Ohio — 100 MW (retired by Dec. 31, 2014).
AEP would retire generating units at the following locations but continue operating some generation at the sites:
* Big Sandy Plant, Louisa, Ky. — Units 1 and 2 (1,078 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014;
* Big Sandy Unit 1 would be rebuilt as a 640-MW natural gas plant by Dec. 31, 2015;
* Clinch River Plant, Cleveland, Va. — Unit 3 (235 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Units 1 and 2 (470 MW total) would be refueled with natural gas with a capacity of 422 MW by Dec. 31, 2014;
* Conesville Plant, Conesville, Ohio — Unit 3 (165 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2012; Units 5 and 6 (800 MW total) would continue operating with retrofits;
* Muskingum River Plant, Beverly, Ohio — Units 1-4 (840 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Muskingum River Unit 5 (600 MW) may be refueled with natural gas with a capacity of 510 MW by Dec. 31, 2014, depending on regulatory treatment in Ohio;
* Tanners Creek Plant, Lawrenceburg, Ind. — Units 1, 2 and 3 (495 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Unit 4 (500 MW) would continue to operate with retrofits; and
* Welsh Plant, Pittsburg, Texas — Unit 2 (528 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Units 1 and 3 (1,056 MW) would continue to operate with retrofits.
The two coal-fueled generating units at Northeastern Plant (935 MW) in Oolagah, Okla., would be idled for a year or more while emission reduction equipment is installed. Both units would be idled beginning Jan. 1, 2016. One unit would return to service by Dec. 31, 2016. The other unit would return to service by Dec. 31, 2017.
AEP will complete construction of the Dresden Plant (580 MW natural gas) in Dresden, Ohio, in 2012.
In addition to the retrofits above, AEP would install or upgrade emissions reduction equipment at seven other coal-fueled power plants in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio and Texas.