AEP to retire coal-fired power plant in Indiana - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

AEP to retire coal-fired power plant in Indiana

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American Electric Power is closing another coal-fired power plant in 2015, this one in Indiana.

AEP announced Sept. 17 that it will retire the 500-megawatt coal-fueled Tanners Creek 4 generating unit in Lawrenceburg, Ind., along with the other generating units at the plant.

The decision to retire Tanners Creek units 1, 2 and 3, totaling 495 MW by mid-2015 was announced in June 2011. An agreement reached in February 2013 provided the option of refueling or retiring Tanners Creek 4.

"Extensive analysis determined that projections for limited electricity demand growth, combined with the amount of generation currently available to serve Indiana Michigan customers, make it financially unfeasible to refuel Tanners Creek 4. All four generating units at Tanners Creek will be retired by mid-2015," AEP said in a statement issued Sept. 17.

The statement quoted Nick Akins, AEP's CEO, as saying, "The decision to retire Tanners Creek 4 was made as part of our ongoing analysis of resource needs and environmental compliance costs as part of our disciplined approach to capital investment. Based on relatively flat electricity demand and the fact that our Indiana Michigan Power customers don't need additional generation at this time, we've determined that the cost of refueling Tanners Creek 4 is not the right capital investment."

Paul Chodak III, AEP subsidiary Indiana Michigan Power president and CEO, said, "The plant's age, combined with new environmental regulations, our successful energy efficiency programs and the fact that we currently don't need additional generation make retirement the best decision for our customers. We are mindful of the impact of this decision on the employees at Tanners Creek and will work with them as they manage their way through this transition."

Approximately 115 employees working at Tanners Creek Plant will be impacted by the plant closure. AEP said it will work to find job opportunities for displaced employees at other AEP facilities. Employees whose positions are eliminated and who do not find other positions with the company will be considered for severance benefits.

AEP previously announced the retirement of 6,676 MW of coal-fueled generation to comply with new environmental regulations affecting coal-fueled power plants. With the addition of the Tanners Creek 4 retirement, AEP will retire 7,176 MW of coal-fueled generation by early 2016.