Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power requested permission Wednesday to make upgrades and recover costs regarding recently revised environmental regulations of ash handling and wastewater discharge systems at the John Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell plants in West Virginia.
The company requested certificates of public convenience and necessity to perform work at the three plants and rates to begin recovery of the costs associated with the environmental improvements in a filing with the West Virginia Public Service Commission that, if approved by the PSC, would result in a 41-cent monthly increase for residential customers using 1,000 kWh per month starting in September 2021.
The investment at the three plants is about $384 million.
“While we are planning investments in renewables in both Virginia and West Virginia, consistent with state legislation, we also need to invest in these plants, because they will continue to play an important role in maintaining affordability and reliability for our customers,” Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and COO, said in a news release Wednesday announcing the filing.
The company’s request includes upgrades to bottom ash handling systems and wastewater treatment facilities to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules for coal combustion residuals and effluent limitation guidelines, which the company said would allow the plants to keep operating through 2040. The company’s filing includes an additional alternative for the Mitchell Plant in Moundsville, which would permit it to continue operating through 2028.
“Whether or not the decision is made to retire the Mitchell Plant in 2028, it’s important to recognize how important [the] Mitchell Plant and our employees there have been to the Moundsville community since the plant first opened in 1971,” Beam said. “We will continue to be an important part of the community.”
Appalachian Power, along with Wheeling Power, also announced it had submitted integrated resource plans to the PSC as required by the state forecasting energy requirements for future years and the company’s plans for meeting them.
The company reported that its plan for meeting capacity obligations includes continued operation of existing generation facilities and adding 200 megawatts of solar and 600 megawatts of wind resources by 2030 to meet compliance requirements of the Virginia Clean Economy Act in its Virginia jurisdiction.
West Virginia repealed its renewable energy portfolio standard in 2015.
Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power) and is part of American Electric Power.