UPDATE: KY AG Asks for Rehearing on Big Sandy Power Plant Closing

By: Olivia Fecteau; WSAZ News Staff, The Associated Press Email
By: Olivia Fecteau; WSAZ News Staff, The Associated Press Email
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UPDATE 11/14/13
LOUISA, Ky. (WSAZ-) -- Kentucky's Attorney General has filed a formal request for the State Public Service Commission to take a second look at its approval of a plan to close part of the Big Sandy Power Plant in Lawrence County.

Last month, the PSC gave its okay to Kentucky Power's plan.

Power company officials plan to shut down a coal-fired unit at the plant in 2015. Its a move company officials said will lead to less of a rate increase on customers than upgrading the plant to comply with new federal air standards.

Attorney General Jack Conway argues in his petition for a rehearing that the decision was based on information that may not be accurate.

Conway said the PSC did not have enough independent analysis before making the decision.

Conway also believes the process by which Kentucky Power officials submitted evidence contained "clear errors of fact and law."

Kentucky Power is owned by American Electric Power (AEP).

"Ultimately this is a decision we believe helps AEP's shareholders and hurts Kentucky ratepayers," says Conway spokesman Daniel Kemp.

Kentucky Power officials denied that accusation.

"Basically, we don't feel there's any grounds for what they filed, which is what we stated in our response," said Ranie Wohnhas, managing director of regulatory and finance with Kentucky Power. "So we'll just see what the Public Service Commission thinks."

Kentucky Power plans to buy half the Mitchell Plant in Moundsville, W. Va., in order to generate enough electricity once the Big Sandy plant goes offline.

A request by Appalachian Power to buy the other half of the Mitchell plant was denied by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. But Kentucky Power officials said that will not inflate the projected rate hike of 14 percent on customers.

"It makes zero impact," Wohnhas said. "The only difference is, instead of it being between Appalachian (Power) and Kentucky Power on the 50/50, it's between Kentucky Power and AEP Generation Resources on a 50/50 and the costs remain the same."

Costs would be much greater on customers if the Big Sandy was upgraded and stayed open, AEP officials said.

But Conway is not convinced.

"(Attorney) General Conway has intervened to ensure the interests of Kentucky ratepayers are adequately represented in the proceedings and he is fighting to protect them," Kemp said.

Both sides expect the PSC to announce on Tuesday whether a new hearing will take place.

Around 173,000 customers in 20 Eastern Kentucky counties are affected by the decision.

UPDATE 10/22/13 @ 8:10 a.m.
LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The president of Kentucky Power says the closing part of the Big Sandy Power Plant near Louisa is the right decision.

Greg Pauley said Monday that shuttering the coal-fired part of the plant in 2015 will save customers money in the long run.

"I have to look for what's appropriate," said Pauley. "Not only for the operating of the plant, but I have to consider the 173,000 customers that we serve in Eastern Kentucky."

Earlier this month, the Kentucky Pblic Service Commission approved Kentucky Power's request to idle part of the plant and buy half of the Mitchell plant in Moundsville, West Virginia.

The company says the move will be cheaper than upgrading the plant with scrubbers to comply with new EPA regulations, which would have resulted in a bill hike of 31 percent, Pauley said.

"Obviously it was met with a lot of criticism and a lot of forces working against us," he said. "Because they wanted us to burn coal, but they didn't want to pay the 31 percent."

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins accused Kentucky Power officials of not adequately studying the financial effects of closing part of the plant.

"To be critical of the vetting of those numbers is not accurate because they were," Pauley said. "There were data requests. There is information that has to be there. Everything that is submitted is submitted under sworn testimony. It's a very transparent process."

The closure affects more than 80 workers, many of whom he said have already found new jobs, Pauley said.

UPDATE 10/14/13 @ 5:34 p.m.
LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Kentucky Power has accepted an agreement to close part of the Big Sandy Power Plant in Lawrence County, Ky.

The decision came down early Monday evening.

By 2014, half of the power at the plant will be transferred to a plant in Moundsville, W.Va.

Kentucky Power says this is the most cost effective move for customers.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) said the plan is $379 million cheaper than the next cost-saving option and as much as $819 million cheaper than installing sulfur dioxide removal equipment "scrubbers" on Big Sandy Unit 2.

The company is still trying to decide what to do with the other unit at Big Sandy. It will be shut down by 2015. It could be converted to gas.

The decision is expected to cause a major economic hit in Lawrence and surrounding counties.

Kentucky Power also said residential customers can expect to see their monthly electricity bills go up by about 5 percent, or $6.70 per month, beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

Still, company officials are optimistic about the plan.

"We are pleased that the Kentucky Public Service Commission approved the transfer of the Mitchell generation and agreed that this is the most cost-effective way to meet federal environmental rules and continue providing reliable, affordable electricity to all our customers," said Greg Pauley, president and chief operating officer of Kentucky Power, in a prepared release. "We care about the employees who work at Big Sandy and the businesses and residents in Louisa and Lawrence County and are committed to working with them through the transition."

Kentucky Power, a division of AEP, provides electricity to about 175,000 customers in all or part of 20 eastern Kentucky counties.

UPDATE 10/10/13 @ 6:15 p.m.
LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- With just a few days until Kentucky Power makes a final decision on closing parts of the Big Sandy Power Plant, people in Lawrence County say they’re worried about the economic impact this will have.

From jobs to tax revenues, closing one unit of the Big Sandy and transferring power production to the Mitchell plant in Moundsville, W.Va. by 2015 could cause major economic losses for the Kentucky community.

If Kentucky Power agrees to the terms of the Public Service Commission’s order by Monday, the company would also give $33,000 each year for the next five years for job re-training at Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges.

Lawrence County Judge-Executive John Osborne said that re-training money is simply a drop in the bucket.

“As high as college is, [that’s not] going to go for very many people,” Osborne said. “It might be good at a little technical college, but then again, if you're training for welding stuff, where are they going to go to? [There’s] no jobs, coal's gone, the power plant’s gone, all those jobs.”

At Warf’s, a resale store in Louisa, the already-strained economy is on everyone’s minds.

“Makes me feel sad. I love Louisa,” Elizabeth Wells said. “Growing up here, it's just nothing like it used to be.”

Wells said if the Big Sandy Power Plant shuts down, so will Lawrence County’s economy.

“I guess it can't be helped, but we would like for them to stay and hope they don't shut down all the way,” Well said.

Sally Warf, who owns the store, said between the government shutdown and the possible closure of the Big Sandy, she has seen the ripple effects in her community.

“People aren't buying, even in stores like mine, re-sale shops or anything. People just are afraid to spend anything,” Warf said.

Ronn Robinson of Kentucky Power says shutting down one unit at the Big Sandy is the best move financially for ratepayers and that they’ll only see an increase of approximately $10 per month on their bills.

Lawrence County Schools superintendent Mike Armstrong says the closure would also mean losing nearly $500,000 in property tax revenues for the school system – resulting in more than a dozen teacher positions and more than 45 teacher aide positions that could be cut.

Robinson with Kentucky Power says it’s not clear yet how many jobs will be lost from the power plant. If the power plant converts the other unit to natural gas, a small number of people could still work at the plant.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 10/10/13
LOUISA, Ky. (WSAZ)-- The expected closing the Big Sandy power plant could have a devastating impact on students and teachers in the area according to the Lawrence County Schools Superintendent.

Earlier this week, the Kentucky Public Service Commission approved a plan by Kentucky Power to close the plant near Louisa in 2015.

Superintendent Mike Armstrong says the shutdown means the school system could lose more than $470,000 per year in property tax revenue from the plant.

"It equates to about 14 general fund experienced teacher positions," Armstrong said. "It likewise equates to almost 46 teacher aide positions out of the general fund."

He also says the hit to the school system goes beyond finances..

"You lose the average daily attendance that student generates," Armstrong said. "You lose the presence of that student's shining face in the classroom. You lose the presence of that mom and dad who support the school in other ways."

Kentucky Power officials have said they may convert part of the Big Sandy plant to burn natural gas instead of coal once the coal-fired unit is idled in 2015.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 10/7/13
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Kentucky Power has been given conditional approval to buy a half-interest in a West Virginia power plant to replace the Big Sandy Power Plant in Lawrence County, Ky.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission made that decision on Monday. Under the plan, Kentucky Power will be allowed to buy coal-fired electricity from the Mitchell Power Plant, which is located near Moundsville, W.Va.

Kentucky Power had initially proposed upgrading the Big Sandy plant, but the PSC concluded the Mitchell plant plan would be less costly than retrofitting Big Sandy with emission control devices.

The 780 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired capacity at Mitchell will replace an 800-MW coal-fired unit at Kentucky Power’s Big Sandy plant near Louisa.

Under a 2007 federal court consent decree, Kentucky Power agreed to close the unit in mid-2015 unless it is upgraded to meet stricter air emission standards.

Kentucky Power plans to close the 800-MW unit and has said it intends to seek PSC approval to convert a 278-MW unit at Big Sandy to burn natural gas instead of coal.

Kentucky Power withdrew an earlier proposal to retrofit Big Sandy’s 800-MW unit with an emission-removing scrubber and decided to retire it instead.

The PSC said in its order that purchasing half of the Mitchell plant will cost much less than bringing Big Sandy’s larger unit into environmental compliance.

The Mitchell purchase will cost about $536 million, whereas upgrading Big Sandy to meet stricter U.S. Environmental Protection Agency air quality rules would cost nearly $1 billion.

The Mitchell acquisition eventually will increase Kentucky Power’s rates by about 14 percent, while a Big Sandy upgrade would have increased rates by 26 percent, the PSC found.

Although the Mitchell acquisition will be the least costly for Kentucky Power and its 173,000 ratepayers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties, the PSC noted that the shutdown of the larger Big Sandy unit will result in job losses and a sharp decrease in tax revenue in Lawrence County, with the economic effects extending to neighboring counties as well.

As a result, the PSC directed Kentucky Power to more than double the amount of shareholder money it had voluntarily agreed to spend on economic development efforts in the area, including job training.

The PSC required Kentucky Power to spend at least $233,000 in each of the next five years, with $33,000 going to job training programs, through the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, focused on weatherization and energy efficiency.

Key provisions of the agreement, in addition to the Mitchell purchase, include:

• A freeze on Kentucky Power’s base rates until May, 31, 2015, and withdrawal of a pending application to increase rates by 24 percent.
• A $44 million annual limit, to extend for 17 months, on recovery of costs associated with the Mitchell acquisition, with the recovery coming via a surcharge.
• A pledge to contribute $100,000 annually to economic development efforts in Lawrence and five neighboring counties, including at least $33,000 annually on job training. (The PSC modified this provision, as noted above.)
• A 20-percent increase in Kentucky Power’s shareholder contribution to its energy assistance program for low-income ratepayers.
• A doubling, to $6 million per year, of Kentucky Power’s program to help its customers save energy through measures such as weatherization.
• A commitment by Kentucky Power to consider the purchase of 100 MW of wind power the next time the company seeks additional generating capacity.

The PSC removed a provision in the agreement that would have allowed Kentucky Power to separately account for and potentially recover from ratepayers the $28.1 million it spent over eight years to study whether or not to upgrade the Big Sandy plant.

UPDATE 8/24/13 @ 7 p.m.
LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) – Dozens of people gathered on the side of U.S. 23 in Lawrence County on Saturday with one goal – to save the Big Sandy power plant, which could be seeing some major changes within the next two years.

“If you don't have coal here, the town's going to shut down,” Chris Daniels, a retired miner, said. “It's going to be a ghost town.”

Daniels and others showed up Saturday to fight back against what many call the “war on coal.”

By 2015, the plant will not be in compliance with environmental regulations. AEP is looking at a plan to close down one of the two units at the Big Sandy plant and transfer it to another plant in Moundsville, West Virginia. The second unit could be converted from coal to gas, provided the conversion costs less than $60 million, according to Ronn Robinson of Kentucky Power.

Robinson said that while most of the 100 workers at the plant would lose their jobs, some might be able to keep their jobs working in the converted unit, but he said there will not be as many jobs as there are in the coal unit.

“There's a lot of families that work for the power plant here that are having to relocate their families and their homes and things to adjust for the employment for themselves,” Elizabeth Slone, a spokesperson for Saturday’s rally, said.

Kentucky Rep. Rocky Adkins (D) said plant workers aren’t the only ones whose jobs are at risk. Miners and truck drivers could also be affected, with what Adkins describes as a “devastating impact” on the eastern Kentucky region.

Kentucky Power says this is the best move for rate-payers, who will see an 8 percent increase in their rates – about 10 dollars a month for the average homeowner. The rates could go up in about eighteen months, Robinson said.

Adkins and others said they would rather pay to “put the scrubbers on,” or bring the plant into compliance with EPA regulations. Adkins noted that process could cost close to $1 billion.

“40 percent of that $940 million will go into the pockets of those construction workers,” Adkins said. “They'll spend that right here in this region.”

Robinson with Kentucky Power said they will likely know in a few weeks what the plan is going forward. He noted that people who would lose their jobs in 2015 at the plant would have the option to transfer within the company, but that there are no guarantees. He also said that some workers could choose to retire if they lose their jobs and don’t get a severance package.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 5/14/13 @ 9 p.m.
LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Residents in Lawrence County, Kentucky say there are plenty reasons shutting down Kentucky Power Company’s Big Sandy Plant would hurt their communities.

Along with 150 jobs at the plant, county leaders say they'd lose more than 900 thousand dollars in tax revenue.

People had a chance to voice their concerns to the state Public Service Commission Tuesday evening at the Lawrence County Community Center.

Kentucky Power is seeking approval from the commission to purchase 50 percent interest in Ohio Power Company's Mitchell power plant south of Moundsville, West Virginia.

State Representative Rocky Adkins says transferring power in from out of state would lead to a bigger rate increase in the long run, and he would prefer to see the Big Sandy plant modified to meet EPA regulations rather than shut down.

"Transferring power in from another state is not our best option,” Adkins said. “We don't need to be paying for scrubbers in West Virginia when we could be paying for scrubbers here at our facility."

Kentucky Power says in its application the purchase price of $536 million would be more than $404 million less than upgrading Big Sandy to meet stricter federal air quality standards.

Both units burn coal, but the PSC says the Mitchell plant has the equipment needed to comply with the new regulations.

PSC Communications Director Andrew Meinykovych says even if they deny Kentucky Power's application to get power from the plant in West Virginia, there's no guarantee or hint that would keep the Big Sandy plant open.

"Kentucky Power is going to shut down the Big Sandy plant,” he said at the meeting Tuesday evening. “That is not something the commission has the power to prevent them from doing."

Meinykovych says the PSC will be part of an evidentiary hearing in Frankfort on May 29, and they'll make their decision on whether to approve Kentucky Power’s application after that, likely some time this summer.

The PSC will have another meeting May 15 in Whitesburg and Hazard.

UPDATE 4/29/13
LOUISA, Ky. (AP) -- The agency that regulates Kentucky's utilities is planning public meetings on a proposal that would allow the Big Sandy generating facility in Louisa to be retired.

The meetings are May 14 in Louisa and May 15 in Whitesburg and Hazard.

Kentucky Power is seeking approval from the state Public Service Commission to purchase a 50 percent interest in Ohio Power Company's Mitchell power plant south of Moundsville, W.Va.
Kentucky Power says in its application the purchase price of $536 million would be more than $404 million less than upgrading Big Sandy to meet stricter federal air quality standards.

Both units burn coal, but the PSC says in a news release the Mitchell plant has the equipment needed to comply with the new regulations.

UPDATE 12/19/12 @ 3:30 p.m.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP & WSAZ) -- A utility company says an 800-megawatt coal-fired power plant in eastern Kentucky that was once slated for costly environmental upgrades will instead be shut down.

Kentucky Power announced Wednesday it would retire Big Sandy Power Plant's Unit 2 in 2015.

The utility, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, withdrew a plan in May to spend nearly $1 billion to add a scrubber designed to produce cleaner emissions and comply with federal air regulations. Ratepayers were told the upgrades would raise their monthly electric bills by an average of $31.

Kentucky Power said Wednesday it would instead draw about 780 megawatts of power for the region from the Mitchell Generating Station in Moundsville, W.Va. Kentucky Power says the new plan would cost customers about $6 more a month.

The future of Unit 1 at the plant is still in the works. According to the release, the company plans to issue a request for proposals early next year to potentially replace the generation of that unit.

Unit 1 will be retired as a coal-fired generator in 2015.

UPDATE 12/21/11 @ 3 p.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is cracking down on the largest remaining source of uncontrolled toxic air pollution in the U.S. -- the nation's power plants.

The EPA announced on Wednesday long-overdue national standards to cut mercury and other toxic air pollutants from power plants, a regulation that will force the oldest and dirtiest facilities to close or clean up.

The rule comes after intense lobbying from some power producers and criticism from Republicans, who said it would threaten jobs and electric reliability.

To ease those concerns, the administration will encourage states to make available an additional year to comply with the rule. Case-by-case extensions could also be granted to address local reliability issues.

Some in the industry wanted an automatic and longer delay.

UPDATE 12/5/11 @ 2:05 p.m.
LOUISA, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Kentucky Power announced Monday it plans to spend nearly $1 billion at the Big Sandy Power Plant to bring the plant up to Federal EPA standards.

Those improvements could also mean that customers will see a $31 or 31 percent a month increase in their electric bills once the project is complete, according to a press release.

Kentucky Powers says the money will be used to build dry flue gas disulfurization or “scrubber” system on the plant’s 800-meagawatt electric generating unit.

The other generating unit at the plant is expected to be retired at the end of 2014, according to press release.

If the project is approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission the scrubber project should be completed in 2016. Some 700 jobs will created during the construction process.

A scrubber uses chemical or mechanical process to remove sulfur dioxide produced by burning coal.

Earlier this year, Kentucky Power announced it might have to shut down a number of coal fired power plants due to EPA regulations. Big Sandy was one of those plants.

UPDATE 6/9/11 @ 6:30 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va (WSAZ) -- AEP says it needs several more years and up to eight billion more dollars to meet federal EPA compliance deadlines.

If they don't get that time, drastic changes will happen.

The power company's plan for EPA compliance will permanently retire the Kanawha River plant and the power plants in Mason County and Moundsville, W.Va. by the end of 2014.

They say part of the plan would be to rebuild the Kentucky Big Sandy power plant at Louisa to burn natural gas instead of coal by the end of 2015.

AEP says compliance by 2014 instead of 2018 or 2020 will hike W.Va. customer's electric bills by up to 15 percent, in Kentucky up to 35 percent.

Shutting down coal burning plants - means using much less coal, and local leaders say that will devastate ancillary businesses – and local communities

AEP says this is not a done deal, as the entire energy industry continues to work with the EPA on a more flexible compliance timetable.

AEP says it's invested more than seven billion dollars since 1990 to reduce emissions.

The EPA says many of these power plants remain toxic polluters - and these regulations will allow many Americans to breathe cleaner air.

But AEP representatives say the company has lowered many toxic emissions by up to 80 percent – and it needs more time to get more done.

ORIGINAL STORY 6/9/11 @ 10:43 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Several power plants in our region are set to be closed and several more will be rebuilt in hopes of meeting EPA regulations.

According to a press release, AEP is planning on closing or rebuilding three coal-fueled power plants in our region by 2014. Five total will be closed. They also plan to rebuild several plants to be fueled by natural gas.

The closings are part of AEP's plan to meet proposed requirements by the EPA. According to the release, the compliance plan AEP is putting together will cost in the range of $6 billion to $8 billion, and will affect hundreds of jobs.

"We support regulations that achieve long-term environmental benefits while protecting customers, the economy and the reliability of the electric grid, but the cumulative impacts of the EPA's current regulatory path have been vastly underestimated, particularly in Midwest states dependent on coal to fuel their economies. We have worked for months to develop a compliance plan that will mitigate the impact of these rules for our customers and preserve jobs, but because of the unrealistic compliance timelines in the EPA proposals, we will have to prematurely shut down nearly 25 percent of our current coal-fueled generating capacity, cut hundreds of good power plant jobs, and invest billions of dollars in capital to retire, retrofit and replace coal-fueled power plants. The sudden increase in electricity rates and impacts on state economies will be significant at a time when people and states are still struggling," said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman and chief executive officer.

As the closings take place, AEP expects that at least 600 jobs will be lost.

According to a AEP spokesperson, 242 jobs will be eliminated in West Virginia.

Phil Moye tells WSAZ.com 62 jobs will be eliminated at the plant in Kanawha County, 120 jobs in Mason County and another 60 jobs in Moundsville.

"We are deeply concerned about the impact of the proposed regulations on our customers and local economies. Communities that have depended on these plants to provide good jobs and support local services will face significant reductions in payroll and property taxes in a very short period of time. The economic impact will extend far beyond direct employment at power plants as thousands of ancillary jobs are supported by every coal-fueled generating unit. Businesses that have benefited from reasonably priced coal-fueled power will face the impact of electricity price increases ranging from 10 percent to more than 35 percent just for compliance with these environmental rules at a time when they are still trying to recover from the economic downturn," Morris said.

"Although discounted by some, the potential impacts on the reliability of the transmission system, particularly in the Midwest, are significant. The proposed timelines for compliance aren't adequate for construction of significant retrofits or replacement generation, so many coal-fueled plants would be prematurely retired or idled in just a few years. AEP's compliance plan alone would abruptly cut generation capacity in the Midwest by more than 5,400 MW. Depending on the year, another 1,500 MW to 5,200 MW of AEP generation would be idled or curtailed for extended periods as pollution control equipment is installed," Morris said.

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)
  • 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
  • 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.

    Several people who say they are employees of American Electric Power have called WSAZ about this situation. They say the company held meetings for employees Thursday morning, explaining the plan.

    Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

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