American Electric Power will remove another 1,633 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired 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, the company said.
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; and 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,” AEP Chairman, President and CEO Nicholas K. Akins said.
He added, “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.”
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, maintains 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.