News | February 10, 2005

AEP Seeks Transmission Review Of Potential IGCC Plant Sites

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb 10, 2005 - American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) has asked PJM Interconnection, an independent electric transmission provider, to evaluate transmission interconnection feasibility for three potential sites being considered by AEP for a commercial-scale Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) clean-coal power plant, the first of its size in the country.

"We are moving forward to build advanced coal-based generation that offers enhanced environmental performance," said Michael G. Morris, chairman, president and chief executive officer of AEP. "This filing represents a significant step, but it doesn´t rule out the possibility of filing for the review of additional potential sites as we determine the best location for the plant - a location that addresses both our operational and regulatory needs.

"Our success with this project will set a new industry standard for using coal - America's most abundant resource - while providing much-needed low-cost generation that will be as environmentally responsible as possible," Morris said.

The three potential sites included in the filings with PJM are on land currently owned by AEP and meet the criteria identified by the company as necessary for building and operating the plant, including acreage, contour, proximity to water source, accessibility, timely permitting and other environmental factors.

The three potential sites included in the filings are:

  • Mason County, W.Va., adjacent to AEP's Mountaineer Plant

  • Meigs County, Ohio, in the Great Bend area

  • Lewis County, Ky., in the Carrs area near Vanceburg
    All are on the Ohio River.

Morris pointed out that the potential sites included in the filings meet operational criteria, but regulatory factors in each state will play a key role in final site selection. "We will not site a plant until we are comfortable about our ability to recover the costs of constructing and operating the plant," Morris said. "Over time, we expect to build several new plants, so cost recovery will be a critical part of our decision."

AEP announced in late August plans to build at least one commercial-scale, base-load IGCC plant by 2010. IGCC technology converts coal into a gas and moves it through pollutant-removal equipment before the gas is burned in gas turbines that drive electric generators. The heat produced by the gas turbines is recovered in boilers that produce steam to drive a steam turbine also coupled to an electric generator. The integrated process results in fewer emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, particulates and mercury, in addition to lower carbon dioxide emissions.

The filings with PJM begin transmission interconnection feasibility studies to determine the transmission network upgrades and estimated cost needed at each potential site to connect a new plant to the existing transmission grid.

American Electric Power owns more than 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and is the nation´s largest electricity generator. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with more than 5 million customers linked to AEP's 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.

Source: American Electric Power