American Electric Power Withdraws Billion Dollar Request to Retrofit Big Sandy Coal Plant
May 3, 2012
On May 30, Kentucky Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, filed with the Public Service Commission a motion to withdraw its application to install clean air controls on their Big Sandy coal fired power plant in Louisa, Kentucky. AEP would need to update Big Sandy, a major emitter of multiple forms of air pollution, in order to meet critical clean air safe guards. Until today, American Electric Power was planning to sink over a billion dollars into new pollution control equipment on the plant.
AEP faced strong criticism from the local community, over a 30% increase in rates would have been required to finance the upgrades. This rate increase would have taken the average energy bill for a household from around $1,500 per year to over $2,000 a year.
Modernizing our energy fleet is a key component to economic recovery. Investments in clean energy, substantial clean air and water protections and energy efficiency programs will create jobs and reinvigorate the economy far faster than retrofitting a coal fired power plant. In fact, a report from 2011 found that, over the next five years clean air and water safeguards could create more than 1.5 million jobs around the country.
Big Sandy, located in eastern Kentucky and owned by American Electric Power, has been in operation since 1963. In 2009 it was rated one of the top 50 dirtiest plants in America and its coal ash pond (where the waste from coal burning is stored) is considered a risk to human life. Because of this, may local citizens have been working to transition the plant away from coal-fired power.
Details and Documents:
American Electric Power Pulls Billion Dollar Big Sandy Request
May 30, 2012, Sierra Club et al. Press Release
AEP Backs Down on Coal Plant Retrofit
May 30, 2012 by Eric Lipton, New York Times
AEP to Reconsider Alternatives to Coal
May 30, 2012 by Erica Peterson, Kentucky Public Radio
Even in Coal Country, the Fight for an Industry
May 29, 2012 by Shawn Poynter, The New York Times
See other "Retiring Old Coal" cases.