Ohio Valley ReSource. News & Technology for the Global Energy Industry. AEP subsidiaries Wheeling Power and Appalachian Power have asked the state Public Service Commission to approve $317 million to pay for the retrofits to keep the plants operating until 2040. Appalachian Power Company's John Amos Power Plant is a 2,933 MW coal-fired power plant located near along the Kanawha River in Winfield, West Virginia. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window), AEP subsidiaries Wheeling Power and Appalachian Power have asked. That fee would pay for wastewater treatment projects that are required to keep the plants in operation through 2040. Amos and Mountaineer are valuable to customers as capacity resources,, Appalachian Power spokesperson Jeri Matheney explained to. In the meantime, the organization calls for reforms to power markets that would support coal through mechanisms such as crediting plants for reliability and resilience. The John E. Amos coal-fired power plant in Poca, West Virginia. Appalachian Power may have used the rate process in Virginia to begin the process of accelerating its move toward natural gas and renewables at the expense of coal. The early and simultaneous retirement of nearly two-thirds of the companys capacity would expose the company and our customers to an imprudent level of uncertainty and market volatility, she said. They've towered over the region's communities for decades. "I think the days of coal being a primary generation source are over," Morningstar analyst Travis Miller said. Both have another 20 years of service, more or less. A 2018 investigation by the Ohio Valley ReSource and partner station WFPL found several ash sites are leaking potentially hazardous chemicals into groundwater. Thats the trajectory.. It has been developed in multiple phases. A report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that the John Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell plants will no longer be economical to operate in five years. The ELG rule, for example, has been mired in rollbacks, prompting some uncertainty within the coal power sector about where and when to make investments. It may not be that simple, however. Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power did not prudently manage their coal supplies in 2021 and 2022, leading to shortages of fuel and higher electricity costs, a consulting group has concluded. Buy Now. The West Virginia Public Service Commission must decide in the coming weeks whether to approve an environmental compliance surcharge on electricity customers. Closing the Amos plant alone in 2028 could save $1.4 billion, the Sierra Club's analysis found. The plants must be in compliance to operate beyond 2028. Closing the Mitchell plant in 2028 would save $118 million, it found. They are also the front line in a landmark environmental case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which will decide this spring how much authority the Environmental Protection Agency has to regulate earth-warming emissions from coal-fired power plants. Be Truthful. John Amos managed Robert C. Byrd's first campaign for the U.S. Senate. The West Virginia Public Service Commission (WVPSC) on Aug. 4 ultimately approved cost recovery for both CCR and ELG investments at all three plantsAmos, Mountaineer, and Mitchell. Even the coal-friendly West Virginia legislature approved two bills in the past two sessions to encourage the development of solar power in the state. The John Amos power plant in Putnam County, West Virginia. The Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) approved Appalachian Power Co. (APCo) and Wheeling Power Co.s (WPCos), Just two weeks after FirstEnergy Corp. said it would close more than 2 GW of six older coal-fired, American Electric Power, one of the premier generating utilities in the U.S., is caught between a deregulated rockwholesale, Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC)on Aug. 23 rattled, American Electric Powers (AEPs) plans to operate the 2.9-GW John Amos and 1.3-GW Mountaineer coal power plants through 2040 when it partly denied cost recovery for expenses that the West Virginia plants need to comply with the federal. "They want to make rules but they don't understand because they don't walk in those shoes," Mayor Summers said of EPA regulators. Still, power customers will have to pay those costs whenever the plants shut down. Zimmer coal-fired plant in Ohio on May 31, 2022, five years ahead of a previous retirement schedule. However, coal plants are also increasingly uneconomic compared to alternatives in some places, and at the same time, increased scrutiny on sustainability is driving corporate decisions to retire more coal. AEP subsidiary Kentucky Power converted the Big Sandy power plant near Louisa, Kentucky, from coal to gas a few years ago. Theyre already old, the costs are going to continue to rise, clean energy is going to continue to decrease in prices. The outcome could dramatically shape the future of coal-dependent communities like Clendenin and the coal-fired power plants that employ thousands of workers but also generate millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year. The John Amos plant was included in this list, as it has not been inspected by the state in at least 10 years. The demand for electricity is flat, even factoring in the pandemic. Power plant workers, coal miners, trade associations, and state and local officials have pleaded with the commission to approve the work. CLENDENIN, West Virginia -- A historic flood from sudden torrential rain nearly wiped out entire towns in West Virginia's mountainous coal country, killing 23 and inflicting $1 billion in damage. Closing the Amos plant alone in 2028 could save $1.4 billion, the Sierra Clubs analysis found. Your purchase was successful, and you are now logged in. One megawatt is enough to power roughly 50,000 homes. The continued fall of coal in the U.S. will likely be steeper than most people think, said Robert Godby, an energy economist and dean at the University of Wyoming. Utilities are rapidly closing coal-fired power plants, and while 2020 and 2021 offer a relative reprieve from retirements compared to 2018 and 2019, utilities already have over 10 GW of announced retirement plans lined up in each of 2022 and 2023. Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power have told state regulators that 2028 is the earliest date the plants would close, three years after Holladays model forecasts they could close. A carbon tax puts a price on climate-changing greenhouse emissions. None of us take that lightly, Jaffe said. If we instead retired one or both of the plants, we would have to spend billions of dollars on replacement capacity much earlier than necessary. Former acting EPA general counsel Kevin Minoli calls West Virginia's Supreme Court challenge of EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions at power plants one of the most significant environmental cases in U.S. history. The order also directs Kentucky Power to provide the journal entries recorded when Kentucky Power acquired Mitchell and Mitchells remaining net book value, including all plant accounts and asset retirement obligations, as of the most recent month for which records are available, the PSC said in a statement. Curtis Tate/West Virginia Public Broadcasting Listen The nation got the lowest amount of electricity on record from coal in the first three months of the year. The lower output means fewer workers, from the mines to the power plants. Inside and outside our model, 2040 is hard to imagine, said Scott Holladay, an associate professor of economics at the University of Tennessee. But in its order on Monday, the SCC said Appalachian Power had failed to meet its burden of proving that the ELG investment is reasonable and prudent, including from an economic or a resource adequacy perspective. Still, the SCC allowed Appalachian Power to provide more analyses and evidence to support the ELG investment. AEP has committed to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions and obtaining more of its power from renewable resources while also divesting itself of much of its coal-powered generating fleet. Van Nostrand said utility customers and communities would be better off if AEP scrapped the upgrades and redirected the money toward the transition to renewable energy. Rain showers this evening with overcast skies overnight. Appalachian Power is supposed to report the results of its study before the end of 2022. It retired its Philip Sporn power plant in Mason County and its Kanawha River Power Plant in Kanawha County in 2015. "I really feel that when I was a kid it was worse than it is now. Similar projects are slated for the Mountaineer plant, including a modification of the bottom ash handling system, installation of a new ash bunker, and a retrofit of a new ultrafiltration system to the existing FGD treatment system. CreditSights analyst Andrew DeVries said industry observers are expecting an acceleration of coal plant retirements under U.S. President Joe Biden and following the recent "ugly PJM auction" results. Now comes the hard part as Putnam and Mason counties wait for the study results and for the involved interest groups the bureaucracy, politicians, environmental groups, the coal industry and others to weigh in and prepare for battle. All Rights Reserved. The regional grid operator must certify that enough power is available from other sources to meet all expected needs. Sponsor impactful and engaging media and entertainment. It is possible that West Virginia customers could have to cover the costs of the entire retrofits for all three plants, she said. And while that order would have meant Mitchell will need to cease operations in 2028, the, The Kentucky PSCs new order, notably, directs Kentucky Power to explain. The West Virginia Public Service Commission must decide in the coming weeks whether to approve an environmental compliance surcharge on electricity customers. But I think everybody knows that those plants are closing at some point.. Invalid password or account does not exist. Shutting down either plant would be hard on the economies of their local communities, not to mention the West Virginia coal industry in general. Choose wisely! But John Amos was also a Democratic National Committeeman. AEP plans to close its 2,600-megawatt Rockport Plant in southern Indiana by 2028. According to direct testimony submitted to the SCC earlier this year by. Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power have told state regulators that 2028 is the earliest date the plants would close, three years after Holladays model forecasts they could close. Amos Plant is making plans to close the bottom ash pond and move the material to a lined landfill. , said. More coal-fired power plants face closure as the nation transitions to cleaner sources of energy. Sign up for regular updates from the Ohio Valley ReSource. Your account has been registered, and you are now logged in. Meanwhile, the cost of wind and solar energy has plummeted. A final decision should be coming in the next several weeks. "But step one is to plan the retirement for coal units.". This is the name that will be displayed next to your photo for comments, blog posts, and more. Both are owned and operated by Appalachian Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, and both burn coal to generate electricity. - February 4, 2022. WV Educational Broadcasting Authority, the WVPB Foundation, and the Friends of WVPB. . Doing the work on their wastewater systems would delay the cost of retiring the plants and finding new sources of power to replace them. "It's incredibly difficult for many of these plants to compete with the new generation coming from advanced combined cycle plants for natural gas or some of the new utility-scale solar," said Brian Lego, an economic forecaster at West Virginia University's Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Aerial image of the Mountaineer plant with groundwater testing results near ash waste. The Congressional Budget Office estimates a $25 a ton carbon tax, indexed to inflation, could raise $1 trillion over a decade. Other than in their local communities, the loss of Sporn and Kanawha River were barely noticed. Appalachian Power said it could decide to close the John Amos and Mountaineer power plants in 2028 if the Virginia Corporation Commission denies its request to make upgrades to them. Brookover, a 41-year-old father whose family has deep ties to the coal industry, says he doesn't oppose the EPA but questions a drive to address a climate crisis he doesn't see. At Amos, Appalachian Power has proposed to modify the bottom ash handling system (to prevent discharge of bottom ash transfer water), as well as install two new ash bunkers. Browse TV Schedule | Find WVPB Television, View Radio Schedule | Find Your Stations. With a nameplate rating of 2,933 MW,it is the largest generating plant in the AEP system. Click here to explore our interactive coal ash map >>. "While the EPA does have a narrow array of authority to act in the area of carbon emissions, it's nowhere near what the Biden administration is suggesting," said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a Republican, who warns thousands of jobs, industry profits, state tax revenue, and a reliable source of electricity are on the line. For more than four decades, the plant, now Appalachian. Closing the Amos plant alone in 2028 could save $1.4 billion, the Sierra Clubs analysis found. A proposed rule is expected in fall 2022. AEP subsidiary Kentucky Power converted the Big Sandy power plant near Louisa, Kentucky, from coal to gas a few years ago. Commissioned in 1971, the plant has three coal-fired units. "What nobody is talking about is the fact natural gas prices are now over $3 and absent a CO2 tax, a scrubbed coal plant can come close to competing with a gas plant, so maybe coal plant retirements continue but actually slow down," DeVries said. Litigation has complicated that plan, but EPA expects to unveil a new approach this summer. Doing the work on their wastewater systems would delay the cost of retiring the plants and finding new sources of power to replace them. We continue to work with state agencies to finalize permit terms and conditions.. Appalachian Power spokesperson Matheney on Wednesday reiterated this point, underscoring the tight timeframe in which new replacement capacity will be needed if Amos and Mountaineer were retried earlier than planned. For example, solar and wind generation can be cost-effective and popular, but they also come with intermittency issues related to sun and wind resource availability. "For Amos and Mountaineer our analysis demonstrates complying with both the CCR and ELG rules and operating both plants through 2040 will be less costly for customers than the next best option,. The. In Kentucky, Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities, a PPL subsidiary, plans to close two coal-fired units near Louisville, and a third near Burgin, in Central Kentucky, by 2028. Theyve also embraced renewables. Retiring a large power plant requires the approval of several parties. The plant operates three landfills and six unlined surface impoundments that were commissioned in 1971. The SCCs order is a new setback for Appalachian Power, which has said cost recovery of CCR and ELG retrofits at the plants would allow their generating units to provide crucially needed capacity and energy value to the utilitys customers in Virginia and West Virginia through 2040. With a carbon tax, the Sierra Club projects that utility customers could save $2.4 billion if Amos closed in 2028; $1.5 billion if Amos and Mountaineer closed and $350 million if Mitchell closed. The turn away from coal is part of AEPs long-term strategy. The ceremony took place in front of a packed room at the John Amos Power Plant in Putnam County. The $317 million project would change the way the coal plants dispose of coal combustion residuals and wastewater from scrubbers that remove sulfur dioxide from plant emissions. , encouraging a shift toward cleaner energy. Both were smaller, older plants that didnt produce enough power to justify the investment needed to meet modern environmental standards. We'll send breaking news and news alerts to you as they happen! We won't share it with anyone else. Last year, Morgan Stanley went further and predicted there would be no coal producing electricity by 2033. This pond has been capped and was closed at the end of 2017. Holladay says the utilities may choose to keep them open and lose money. We find it is critically important to analyze the overall impact of this investment on both customer rates and reliability, and that [for this specific expense] the instant record is currently lacking in both regards, the SCC said in its order. The coal it does not consume will not generate severance tax revenue for state and local government. It's one of 174 coal-fired plants nationwide that could be impacted by the Supreme Court's decision. Appalachian Power is proposing several options including making the pollution control modifications to all three plants or closing Mitchell by 2028 and making the modifications to John Amos. And if it means raising our utility bills a little bit, so be it.. However, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) on July 15 only approved CCR-compliance projects at Mitchell, moving distinctly to deny projects related to the ELG rule. Request WVPB Education to attend or host an event! Coal-fired power plants peaked at 314 gigawatts of electricity in 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph. "We think market operators need to revisit payment mechanisms to ensure these dispatchable generators don't retire due to artificially driven economics," Bloodworth said. They're not very efficient at turning coal into power, Holladay said, and new, more efficient technologies coming down the grid and kind of eating their lunch.. Carbon Capture The. A report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that the John Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell plants will no longer be economical to operate in five years. Coal is falling out of favor to lower-carbon or no-carbon sources of electric power in an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change. They generated the electricity for homes around the Ohio Valley. 2 Logan to 8-7 win over No. Meanwhile, the cost of wind and solar energy has plummeted. It plans to retire 5,574 megawatts of coal generation from now through 2030. Last year, AEP shut down the Conesville Plant in Coshocton, in Eastern Ohio. "The coal industry has always kept our people in the dark, and I don't look for it to change. Under the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the first updates to, federal effluent limitation guidelines since 1982 in November 2015, setting stringent Best Available Technology (BAT) effluent limitations and pretreatment standards for existing sources (PSES) as they apply to bottom ash transport water and flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater. that the ELG investment is reasonable and prudent, including from an economic or a resource adequacy perspective. Still, the SCC allowed Appalachian Power to provide more analyses and evidence to support the ELG investment. Moodys Investors Service forecast in 2019 that coal would be only 11% of electric power generation by 2030. Utility giant Duke Energy Corp. is among the companies accelerating coal plant retirements to meet company and North Carolina emissions-reduction goals. Videos, activities & resources for every occasion. Coal produced 40% of the nations electricity a decade ago, compared with 20% in 2020. Wheeling Power and Kentucky Power each hold a 50% stake in the Mitchell Plant, which began operating in 1980. Amos Plant uses dry fly ash handling and no longer requires use of the fly ash pond. 2023 Access Intelligence, LLC - All Rights Reserved. The company has 5,665 megawatts of renewable energy projects in progress. Holladay says his model is mostly accurate, though he noted that the model cant know every specific circumstance surrounding each plant. Close. Because the power generated by the plants supplies other states, AEP is seeking approval for the plan from the state public service commissions in Kentucky and Virginia. From that year through 2020, power companies retired 95 gigawatts of that power, nearly a third. According to Appalachian Powers testimony, the Virginia jurisdictional share of the ELG investments would be about $60 million. The turn away from coal is part of AEPs long-term strategy. Both are owned and operated by Appalachian Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, and both burn coal to generate electricity. Matt Bevin and former President Donald Trump. The two plants represent around two-thirds of the subsidiarys generating fleet. Well determine the best path forward to meet the resource needs in each state, and return to the commissions if necessary for consideration of our updated costs and plans.. If we instead retired one or both of the plants, we would have to spend billions of dollars on replacement capacity much earlier than necessary. The Tennessee Valley Authority, shuttered the Paradise Fossil Plant in Western Kentucky. "We understand the energy grid is in transition, but we also believe it's critical to heighten the level of awareness about how a transition away from dispatchable resources like coal can adversely impact system reliability and resilience," Bloodworth said. Security Officer (Full-time) (Current Employee) - Construction Gate for past 5 years. Founded in 1960, Trans Ash is a rapidly growing civil land construction & environmental company. Both states commissions will consider AEPs proposal later this month. By, Instructions for Submitting an Event to WMKY, Contests, Giveaways, Lotteries and Raffles Policy, The West Virginia Public Service Commission, How South Africa nearly descended into civil war instead of a multi-racial democracy, Montana Rep. Zooey Zephyr sues over her removal from House floor, The guy who ate a $120,000 banana in an art museum says he was just hungry, Arkansas woman pleads not guilty to selling over 20 boxes of stolen human body parts, A decoder that uses brain scans to know what you mean mostly, Latest on Ukraine: May Day's another war day as Russia strikes Ukrainian cities. But you have to go through the process the right way," Morrisey said. The company sought recovery of an estimated $240 million investment to ensure both plants will be in compliance with both federal rules. Use the 'Report' link on Appalachian Power may have used the rate process in Virginia to begin the process of accelerating its move toward natural gas and renewables at the expense of coal. But three West Virginia coal-fired power plants owned by Ohio-based American Electric Power may be on borrowed time. Early childhood development & learning resources. One megawatt is enough to power roughly 50,000 homes. Site of an ongoing $1 billion sulfur dioxide abatement project begun . Meanwhile, power generators are speeding up the exit from coal. The big game changer, however, could be a tax on carbon. Under the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the first updates to federal effluent limitation guidelines since 1982 in November 2015, setting stringent Best Available Technology (BAT) effluent limitations and pretreatment standards for existing sources (PSES) as they apply to bottom ash transport water and flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater. And while that order would have meant Mitchell will need to cease operations in 2028, the PSC on Aug. 19 issued another order granting Kentucky Powers request for a partial rehearing of the July 15 order. Home Report Predicts 3 Coal Plants Could Close Within 5 Years. Recent months have seen a fresh round of new and accelerated retirement announcements driven by utilities adopting new climate policies and goals, said Seth Feaster, a data analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. In the long run, it could mean renewables. Closing the Mitchell plant in 2028 would save $118 million, it found. "Certainly, we are looking to reduce our carbon footprint and in order to do that you're going to need to retire coal, and you're going to need to replace it with renewables or potentially natural gas," Duke Energy Executive Vice President and CFO Steven Young said in a phone interview. While large batteries are solving some of those issues, Miller said they might not be able to replace natural gas by themselves. Brian D. Sherrick, managing director of Projects for AEP Service Corp., continued operation under CCR and ELG rules would cost $177.1 million at Amos and $72.9 million at Mountaineer. The examiner also recommended that if the Virginia SCC did not ultimately grant Appalachian Power approval of the ELG investments, the regulatory body should delay consideration of the reasonableness and prudency of previously incurred ELG costs until a future case., While AEP has made a major effort to pare down its reliance on coal powerkeeping with ambitions it announced in September 2019. The model predicts one of Mitchells two units would close in two years, and the other in three. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK. "We put so much clean energy, clean stuff on [the plant]. It seemed like there was more flooding," he said. Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists. But while the SCC moved to approve AEPs recovery of costs related to the federal Coal Combustion and Residuals (CCR). Comprehensive energy legislation in North Carolina calls for Duke Energy to retire more than 5,000 MW of capacity at five coal-fired power plants by Dec. 31, 2030, with retirement and replacement plans subject to review by the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Duke Energy will retire all of its power plants in the Carolinas that "rely exclusively on coal" or about 9,000 MW of capacity within the next ten years under the six scenarios outlined in its utilities' 2020 integrated resource plans. Threats of harming another Last week, they testified overwhelmingly in support of the plants in a public comment hearing. But one of the reports authors predicts they wont last to the end of this decade. Both were smaller, older plants that didnt produce enough power to justify the investment needed to meet modern environmental standards. the commission denied about $4.2 million of expenses AEP had proposed for projects that would help the plants comply with the ELG rule. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph. This is the name that will be displayed next to your photo for comments, blog posts, and more. Create a password that only you will remember. Ohio-based AEP has one other plant among the top 10, the John Amos Plant in West Virginia, which has a generation cost of $39 per megawatt-hour.  Our Management needs improving. We will take into consideration the three commission orders and the many impacts of all possible options. Both have another 20 years of service, more or less. We are currently in the midst of a $1.4 billion scrubbers construction project for the John E. Amos plant alone.". "We are absolutely certain that there's going to be a considerable number of more retirements for this decade," Feaster said. Your e-mail address will be used to confirm your account. At the John E. Amos Power Plant, we helped AEP develop an innovative design that would cover, close, and restore the existing 170-acre ash pond. As noted here before, the coal-fired fleet in this region is expected to reach its scheduled retirement age sometime around 2040. Mitchell and Amos began operating in 1971, and Mountaineer in 1980. The Public Service Commission of West Virginia would have a say, and undoubtedly the governor and the Legislature would step in. content And even 2030 is feeling optimistic at this point, for sure.. Great place to work. And so it's a tough spot if you own these utilities, he said, so I understand why they're struggling to think about what their options are.. In the long run, it could mean renewables. "I grew up in coal country. Thats seven years before the three West Virginia plants would close if utility customers pay for their upgrades. At the start of 2015, the nation's coal fleet totaled 285.6 GW of capacity, according to Market Intelligence data. Curtis Tate/West Virginia Public Broadcasting Listen By 2026, half of U.S. coal plant capacity will have retired over the course of just 15 years. Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles. Its three power units released 10.8 million tons of earth-warming carbon dioxide last year or the equivalent of more than 2 million cars driven for a year government records show. West Virginia Coal Plants Need Upgrades. West Virginias power plants are a source of electricity, jobs and tax revenue. Sign up for the Ohio Valley Resource newsletter. Sorry, there are no recent results for popular videos. Appalachian Power, the AEP subsidiary that owns the two plants, warned in its last 10-Q filing, dated July 22, that denial of ELG investment recovery could cause the company to close the generating facilities by 2028more than a decade earlier than their planned retirement in 2040.
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