|This article is part of the Global Energy Monitor coverage of coal plants|
AEP Ohio is a subsidiary of American Electric Power and the largest of its regional utility divisions serving nearly 1.5 million customers in Ohio and the northern panhandle of West Virginia. AEP Ohio consists of Columbus Southern Power Company, Ohio Power Company, and Wheeling Power.
AEP Ohio operates almost 56,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines servicing 1.5 million customers across Ohio and in two northern West Virginia counties. The utility also generates about 8,500 MW of capacity from primarily hydroelectric and fossil-fueled power plants (the bulk from coal-fired plants), and sells wholesale electricity to other power companies. Ohio Power provides power to a number of industries including iron and steel, rubber and plastic products, stone, clay, glass and concrete products, petroleum refining, and chemicals. The company was established in 1907 and incorporated in Ohio.
Existing Coal Plants
|Muskingum River Plant||OH||1953, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1968||1,529 MW|
|General James M. Gavin Power Plant||OH||1974, 1975||2,600 MW|
|Kammer Plant||WV||1958, 1959||713 MW|
|Mitchell Plant||WV||1971||1,633 MW|
Kammer and Mitchell Plants ranked 28th on list of most polluting power plants in terms of coal waste
In January 2009, Sue Sturgis of the Institute of Southern Studies compiled a list of the 100 most polluting coal plants in the United States in terms of coal combustion waste (CCW) stored in surface impoundments like the one involved in the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill. The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.
Kammer and Mitchell together ranked 28th on the list, with 1,372,687 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.
"High Hazard" Surface Impoundments
Three of Muskingum River Plant's surface impoundments are on the EPA's official June 2009 list of Coal Combustion Residue (CCR) Surface Impoundments with High Hazard Potential Ratings. The rating applies to sites at which a dam failure would most likely cause loss of human life, but does not assess of the likelihood of such an event.
Gavin Plant Suit
In July 2006 the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, ruled on behalf of 82 Ohio residents forcing AEP Ohio to reduce the amount of sulfuric acid mist it emits from the 830-foot-high smokestacks at its largest coal-fired power plant, the Gavin Power Plant in Cheshire, Ohio. The case is known as Citizens Against Pollution v. Ohio Power Company.
Proposed Coal Plants
In 2005 AEP filed an air permit application with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in October 2006 for a proposed 629 megawatt (MW) Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant in Meigs County, Ohio, the Great Bend IGCC. The Great Bend power plant is one of two IGCC power plants proposed by AEP in the Ohio/West Virginia region (the other is Mountaineer, in Mason County, West Virginia), and the two plants will be located within thirty miles of each other. The Great Bend plant would be operated by AEP Ohio and another AEP subsidiary, Columbus Southern Power.
In April 2006, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved AEP’s request to charge its customers for $23 million in pre-construction costs. In Aug. 2006, this decision was challenged in the Ohio Supreme Court by the Ohio Consumers' Counsel and Industrial Energy Users-Ohio; this lawsuit could delay the projected in-service date of the plant by up to seven years. Oral arguments in the case were heard on Oct. 9, 2007. In April 2007, the Ohio Siting Board approved the construction of the plant.
In February 2009, AEP announced that construction of the plant would be placed on temporary hold due to economic conditions. An AEP executive indicated that although the corporation will not "proceed on construction in the near future", they are "still very interested in the project".
AEP raises rates in Ohio
On March 18, 2009, the Ohio PUC approved rate increases for two AEP companies, but the hikes are only about half of of what the utility had requested. Columbus Southern Power customers will face a maximum increase of 7 percent in 2009 and 6 percent in both 2010 and 2011. Ohio Power customers will face a maximum increase of 8 percent in 2009, 7 percent in 2010, and 8 percent in 2011.
In August 2009 AEP Ohio applied for $75 million in federal stimulus funds to support the AEP Ohio gridSMART(SM) Demonstration Project. "AEP Ohio's $150 million project will be deployed in northeast central Ohio starting in 2010 and will include installation of approximately 110,000 advanced electricity meters; new distribution grid technology; distributed energy sources; plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; smart appliances; and consumer systems and products to help customers manage electricity use and costs. Elements all designed to demonstrate the full benefits of installing a comprehensive distribution smart grid for consumers and the utility."
Ohio Power Company
1 Riverside Plaza
Columbus, OH 43215-2373
Articles and Resources
- "AEP Ohio Facts" AEP Ohio Website, August 2009
- "Ohio Power Company profile" Yahoo Finance, September 2009.
- "Ohio Power Company profile" Manta, September 2009.
- Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
- TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
- Coal waste
- "Citizens Against Pollution v. Ohio Power Company" Public Justice Website, accessed September 2009.
- AEP and IGCC, AEP Ohio corporate website, accessed January 2008.
- Oral Argument Video Archives: October 9, 2007, The Supreme Court of Ohio website.
- "Ohio Approves AEP's Great Bend IGCC Site Plan", Gasification News, May 16, 2007. (This is an abbreviated version of the article; access to the full article requires registration.)
- "AEP: Clean coal plant on hold", Pomeroy Daily Sentinel, February 7, 2009.
- Dan Gearino, "AEP given OK to raise rates in Ohio, but about half what it asked," Columbus Dispatch, March 18, 2009.
- "AEP Ohio Files for Funding to Initiate gridSMART(SM) Project to Improve Reliability" Reuters, Aug 31, 2009
Related SourceWatch Articles
- Existing U.S. Coal Plants
- Ohio and coal
- American Electric Power
- United States and coal
- Global warming