COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power's (Nasdaq: AEP) compliance plans for two recently revised environmental regulations will remove 1,633 megawatts (MW) of coal-fueled generation from its fleet by the end of 2028.
AEP will file compliance plans this month for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rule. Those plans will indicate that the company will retire the Pirkey Plant (580 MW) in Hallsville, Texas, in 2023 and cease using coal at the Welsh Plant (1,053 MW), in Pittsburg, Texas, in 2028.
Dry bottom ash handling systems or new lined ash ponds that meet the requirements of the EPA's CCR and Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG) rules will be built and operational in 2023 at four other power plant sites. Existing ash ponds at these sites will be closed, and the ash will be moved to regulated landfills.
Plants that AEP plans to continue operating with CCR and ELG investments are: Amos Plant (2,930 MW), Winfield, West Virginia Mountaineer Plant (1,330 MW), New Haven, West Virginia Mitchell Plant (1,560 MW), Moundsville, West Virginia Flint Creek (258 MW), Gentry, Arkansas
AEP plans to make upgrades to the ash pond system and continue operating Rockport Plant Unit 1 (1,310 MW) in Rockport, Indiana, until its previously announced retirement date of 2028. Additionally, AEP will not renew the lease for its 1,310-MW Rockport Plant Unit 2 when it expires in 2022.
AEP's Turk Plant (477 MW) in Fulton, Arkansas, and Northeastern Plant (469 MW) in Oologah, Oklahoma, currently meet CCR and ELG standards.
"As we look at the future of our power plant fleet, we've balanced the remaining life and economic viability of each of our coal-fueled generating units with other options for delivering power to our customers. We continue to add lower cost, cleaner resources, like renewables and natural gas, as we diversify our generating fleet to benefit our customers and the environment. We have retired or sold nearly 13,500 MW of coal-fueled generation in the last decade," said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer.
"The Pirkey and Welsh plants and their employees have a long history of safely providing reliable, affordable power for our customers and supporting local communities. As with previous retirements, we are committed to working with our employees and these communities to help them manage the transition. We also will ensure the safe and reliable operation of these plants until their ultimate closure," Akins said.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP's approximately 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation's largest electricity transmission system and more than 221,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation's largest electricity producers with approximately 30,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,300 megawatts of renewable generation. AEP's family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.