Construction could be moved up if a favorable Supreme Court decision is rendered and cost recovery is approved.
An AEP attorney filed a status report with the PUCO on its proposal to build an IGCC clean-coal generating plant on property the company owns in Lebanon Township, the same day AEP filed documents with the Public Service Commission of West Virginia to proceed with construction of a $2.23 billion “twin” project to be built in Mason County. There are no projected regulatory hurdles in West Virginia, and that plant could be operating as soon as 2012.
“The projected 2017 in-service date for the Ohio plant in no way demonstrates a reduction in the companies’ commitment to the (Ohio) project,” the Monday filing said. “The 2017 in-service date recognizes the uncertainty of the Supreme Court opinion. (AEP) would plan to move up the 2017 date upon receiving a favorable Supreme Court of Ohio opmion and necessary cost recovery regulatory approvals in Ohio.”
“As AEP has consistently stated, it will not proceed with construction of an IGCC generating facility in any location in the absence of assurance of cost recovery. The companies believe that the prudent course is to postpone their next substantive filing in this proceeding until this uncertainty is sufficiently resolved.”
“The companies intend to make their Phase II cost recovery filing upon a favorable Supreme Court of Ohio opinion.”
The Office of the Ohio Consumers Council and an industrial energy users group has challenged the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s decision that allows recovery of $23.7 million from customers for the Front-End Engineering and Design study for the project. The opponents of the PUCO’s decision argue that state law does not allow cost recovery for generation projects.