In what seems to be a developing trend across the country, American Electric Power (AEP) is closing another coal-fired power plant in 2015, this one in Indiana.
AEP said Tuesday it will retire the 500-megawatt coal-fueled Tanners Creek 4 generating unit in Lawrenceburg, IN, 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 came 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.
“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,” said Nick Akins, AEP’s chief executive. “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.”
“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,” said Paul Chodak III, AEP subsidiary Indiana Michigan Power president and chief executive. “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 feel the impact of the plant closing down. AEP said it will work to find job opportunities for displaced employees at other AEP facilities. Employees whose positions end up eliminated and who do not find other jobs with the company get 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.