COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 27, 2004 — American Electric Power (AEP) will invest an estimated $1.2 billion to install additional environmental controls at two of its coal-fired power plants: Mitchell Plant near Moundsville, W.Va., and Mountaineer Plant at New Haven, W.Va.
“This investment in our plants will not only improve the environment but will keep these low-cost plants producing energy for our customers,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We will seek recovery of these environmental investments through electricity rates and expect our plan will be well received by regulators because it represents the best and least-expensive compliance path for our customers and still leaves our rates among the lowest in the region.”
AEP is beginning preliminary studies and engineering for the installation of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems on Mitchell Plant units 1 and 2, 800 megawatts each, and Mountaineer Plant, 1,300 megawatts. FGD systems, commonly called “scrubbers,” reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, a contributor to acid rain, by up to 98 percent.
AEP also will be installing selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems on Mitchell units 1 and 2. SCR systems reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, a contributor to the formation of urban ozone or smog, by up to 90 percent.
The unit at Mountaineer already has an SCR system. At the same time, AEP is moving forward on the previously announced construction of an SCR system on the Muskingum River Plant’s 585-megawatt unit 5 and is continuing work on construction of SCR systems on John E. Amos Plant’s 800-megawatt units 1 and 2. The Amos plant, which already has an SCR system on its 1,300-megawatt unit 3, is located near St. Albans, W.Va. The Muskingum River plant is located near Beverly, Ohio.
AEP expects the FGD installations to be complete in 2007 or 2008. The Amos unit 2 SCR system will be operational this May. The Amos unit 1 and Muskingum River unit 5 SCR systems will be operational for the 2005 ozone season. The Mitchell units 1 and 2 SCR systems are expected to be operational for the 2007 ozone season.
The construction projects will create the need for temporary labor. Temporary positions will be filled through contractors selected to install the equipment. Workers from all 14 building trades will be supplied through local union hiring halls. Additional full-time staff will be required once the scrubbers are completed and in operation. The number of additional full-time staff will depend upon the technology installed and material-handling decisions the company makes during the engineering phase.
American Electric Power owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and select international markets and is the largest electricity generator in the U.S. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with almost 5 million customers linked to AEP’s 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.