CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Appalachian Power has asked West Virginia regulators to allow the company to dismantle the Philip Sporn Power Plant in Mason County and the Glen Lyn plant in Giles County, Va.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the West Virginia Public Service Commission had previously asked Appalachian Power to examine the future of the two aging coal-fired plants. The commission also urged the company to maintain the infrastructure of the Kanawha River plant in Glasgow for at least four years to see if it would be cost effective for that plant to transition to natural gas.
Appalachian Power said last week in a PSC filing that the Sporn and Glen Lyn plants should be dismantled. The company said converting those two plants to natural gas would not be as cost-effective as converting the Kanawha River plant and constructing new gas-fired power plants.
“The cost of converting and operating the Kanawha River Units is, under certain scenarios, relatively comparable to the cost of installing and operating new gas fired capacity,” Appalachian Power officials wrote.
Appalachian Power analyzed the costs of converting the plants. The company estimated the Sporn plant would cost between $165 million and $210 million to convert, while the Glen Lyn plant would cost between $198 million and $236 million. The Kanawha River plant would cost between $62.7 million and $113.3 million, the company said.
The three plants were recently closed because of their inability to meet federal air emission regulations. If the Sporn and Glen Lyn plants are decommissioned, local officials fear they may not be brought back as natural gas plants.