The OPSB is the state agency that will approve or deny AEP's plan to locate an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle at its Great Bend site.
In April, two groups, the Ohio Energy Users and the Industrial Energy Users of Ohio filed motions to intervene in the case, and IEU-Ohio also filed a motion to amend or dismiss the application. Those motions were denied in June, while AEP was granted an extension on completing its application.
According to AEP spokesman Jeff Rennie, public hearings on the application will be held both in Meigs County and at Public Utilities Commission of Ohio headquarters in Columbus.
“The Ohio Power Siting Board has authority to allow AEP build the plant,” Rennie said Friday. “The OPSB process is separate from the cost recovery process that is decided by the PUCO.”
This summer, the PUCO approved the first phase of cost recovery for the plant, which is expected to cost $1.3 billion. AEP customers are now paying for the front-end engineering and design phase of the project.
The design of the plant was expected to be completed in October, and while AEP first thought it might be completed earlier, Rennie said the design work is now about a month behind schedule. He said it is not expected to be completed before November.
Once that front-end design work is completed, AEP will seek approval of cost recovery for the construction of the project, based on the projected construction cost included in the design plan.
AEP has proposed three potential sites for its first IGCC plants: Meigs County, Mason County, W.Va., on land adjacent to its Mountaineer Plant, and Vanceburg, Ky. Last summer, AEP Chief Executive Officer Michael Morris said AEP will likely build its first IGCC plant in Mason County, because the state has an easier permitting process.
However, Rennie said at the time, that does not change plans to build in Meigs County, also.
The OPSB is expected to consider a number of factors in making its decision as to whether AEP can build its IGCC power plant in Lebanon Township, including including the company's cultural resource investigation, part of the preliminary site work now underway at the site.