Appalachian Power Company

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Appalachian Power Company is an American Electric Power (AEP) electric utility subsidiary. It is a public company categorized under "Distribution, electric power" and located in Columbus, OH. It was established in 1926 and incorporated in Virginia. Appalachian Power serves about 962,000 residential and business customers in southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia, and a small portion of northwestern Tennessee. The electric utility operates more than 47,980 miles of distribution and 3,260 miles of transmission lines. It also has stakes in coal-fired and hydroelectric power plants that give it about 8,020 MW of capacity, and it markets power to wholesale customers in the region.[1]

Existing Coal Plants

Plant State Year(s) Built Capacity
Clinch River Plant VA 1958, 1961 713 MW
Glen Lyn Plant VA 1944, 1957 338 MW
John E. Amos Plant WV 1971, 1972, 1973 2,933 MW
Kanawha River Plant WV 1953 439 MW
Philip Sporn Power Plant WV 1950, 1951, 1952, 1960 1,105 MW
Mountaineer Plant WV 1980 1,300 MW

Proposed Coal Plants

AEP has proposed to build two integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) coal plants in the West Virginia/Ohio area. The Mountaineer IGCC plant would be built next to the existing Mountaineer generating station along the Ohio River in Mason County, West Virginia. It would be essentially the same as the Great Bend IGCC plant proposed for Meigs County, Ohio.[2]

In Oct. 2006, AEP filed an air permit application with the state Department of Environmental Protection. In Jan. 2007, AEP announced it would delay building the plants for six months due to rising material and labor costs. In Feb. 2007, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection estimated a draft permit would be released in two to three months.[3] On June 18, 2007, AEP filed an application with the state Public Service Commission; hearings on this application began Dec. 5.[4]

Project costs have risen from $1.2 billion to $2.2 billion, and AEP wants ratepayers to pay for part of this increase; at hearings, consumer advocate groups have argued against the project.[3] During a licensing hearing on Dec. 10, AEP agreed to potentially cap construction costs. [2]

In April, 2008, the West Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) rejected the plant in West Virginia as well as a rate hike to help pay for it. The SCC said that AEP's cost of $2.33 billion, which had not been revised since November, 2006, and was therefore "not credible."[5]

In December 2008, AEP applied for a Class 5 Underground Injection Control Permit from the West Virginia DEP. If approved, the permit would allow AEP to inject and permanently store carbon dioxide through injection wells into the subsurface located in Mason County.[6]

In August 2009 AEP announced that it is seeking $334 million in federal stimulus funds for the Mountaineer plant to become the site of the nation's first commercial-scale carbon dioxide capture and storage system. The project would go online in 2015. AEP proposes that the commercial-scale project would capture 90 percent of the CO2 from 235 megawatts, or about 20 percent of the plant's 1,300-megawatt capacity, and would again inject it underground. AEP applied to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Clean Coal Power Initiative, which according to the DOE Web site is offering up to $1.4 billion to applicants who will share at least 50 percent of the cost of their projects.[7]

To recover the costs AEP proposes that West Virginia electricity rates will increase by approximately 12% by 2012.[8]

Amos ranked 41st 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.[9] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[10]

Amos Plant ranked number 41 on the list, with 864,024 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[9]

Amos Plant's "High Hazard" Surface Impoundment

Amos Plant's Fly Ash Pond surface impoundment is 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.[11]

Contact Information

Appalachian Power Co
1 Riverside Plaza
Columbus, OH 43215-2373
United States
Tel: 1/614/223-1000

Articles and Resources


  1. "Appalachian Power Company Description" Hoover's Website, September 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 “Appalachian Power Signals Partial Compromise on Power Plant,” Huntington Herald-Dispatch, December 10, 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed January 2007. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  4. “Hearings on Coal-Fired Plant to Begin,” Charleston Daily Mail, December 5, 2007.
  5. "SCC says no to new APCO power plant and rate hike,", April 14, 2008
  6. Department of Water and Waste Management, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
  7. "AEP Proposes Clean Coal Project in W.Va." The State Journal, August 27, 2009
  8. "Appalachian Power Fact Sheet: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Project" Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Technologies at MIT Website, October 2009
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  10. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
  11. Coal waste

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