Charleston, W.Va. – Chris Hamilton, president and chief executive officer of the West Virginia Coal Association offers the following statement regarding the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s order approving AEP’s request to comply with federally mandated environmental requirements at the John Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell coal-fired power plants:

“On behalf of West Virginia’s mining and coal-fired electric generation industries, we appreciate the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s thoughtful and pragmatic order approving AEP to continue operating the John Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell power plants through, at least, 2040.

Keeping these coal plants operational is not only the cheapest option for ratepayers, doing so retains thousands of jobs at the power plants, maintains significant sources of state and local tax revenue, keeps the local communities around these facilities vibrant, and sustains the coal mines, miners and hundreds of associated vendors that supply these plants with fuel.

Compared to replacing the coal plants with other generation sources or buying power from the wholesale market, upgrading these three generation facilities is the least expensive option for West Virginia rate payers and is clearly in the best interest of our state and our citizens.”

For additional information, contact Chris Hamilton at (304) 342-4153.

CHARLESTON, WV – The Public Service Commission has approved Appalachian Power Company and Wheeling Power Company’s request to keep the Amos, Mountaineer, and Mitchell plants operational until at least 2040.

Today’s Order will not immediately affect the power bills of West Virginia customers.  The original Order in this case resulted in a rate increase that would add approximately $2.64 per month to the current bill of a residential customer who uses 1,000 kWh per month.  Any additional amount that results from today’s Order will require the companies a further proceeding to recover the costs of implementing the upgrades.

The Order points out that benefits of the plants’ continued operation to the state’s economy are considerable.  Direct employment at the plants; use of West Virginia coal; state, county and local taxes related to operating generation plants; and related employment in businesses supporting the plants and the coal industry cannot be discounted or overlooked.  The Commission also considered the reliability of fuel secure base load generation capacity in making its decision.

Today’s Order is the result of Virginia and Kentucky refusing to approve the Coal Combustion Residue and Effluent Limitation Guideline upgrades required for the plants’ continued operation.  The Commission determined that if those two states will not share the cost of the upgrades, they will not be permitted to use the capacity and energy produced by the plants.

For more information, go to the PSC website at www.psc.state.wv.us and refer to Case No. 20-1040-E-CN.