UPDATE: 5:44 PM 4/2/2015
The Muskingum River Plant will no longer be in business come summer time. AEP annouced in 2011 the closing of unit 5 in Washington County.
The 6,600 megawatt coal-fueled coal firing plant is scheduled to close on May 31, 2015.
Currently, 80 workers are still employed at the plant. AEP says they tried to place as many impacted employees as possible in positions at their company. As of right now, 18 workers will have a job at the company once the plant closes and 62 workers either voluntarily or involuntarily will be offered a severance package.
Closing down this plant isn't just affecting the workers, though.
"We recognize that the retirement will effect the local economy and that there's a tax impact there. we've been working to provide enough information as we can in a timely manner to help the local community and business organizations prepare for the changes that are upon us," says AEP Spokesperson, Tammy Ridout.
AEP reps say the removal of the plant will be done in a safe and responsible way. They are working with community leaders and local developmental commissions to figure out if all or part of the site can be redeveloped.
AEP announces the closing of Muskingum River Plant Unit 5 in Washington County.
American Electric Power announces today it will retire its 585-megawatt coal-fueled Muskingum River Plant Unit 5 Coal Firing Plant, in Beverly, Ohio in 2015.
Due to the cost of compliance with environmental regulations and current market conditions, AEP determined it's unlikely to make the capital investment to refuel the unit.
Muskingum River Plant Units 1 through 4 have already been scheduled to close by 2015.
Approximately 95 employees working at Units 1-5.
Washington County Commissioner David White says this is a very sad day for Washington County. He says with the loss of AEP in the area the effect on property taxes, surrounding school and jobs is great.
White says this is the last standing coal firing plant in Washington County.
PRESS RELEASE: Representative Bill Johnson
MARIETTA– Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-6) released the following statement today regarding the news that AEP will retire its 585-megawatt (MW) coal-fueled Muskingum River Plant Unit 5 in Beverly, Ohio (Washington County), in 2015:
"AEP being forced to close its Beverly facility because of the ‘cost of compliance with environmental regulations' is the latest example of how President Obama’s War on Coal is costing jobs in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio," said Bill Johnson. "The tragic results of his assault on coal, the Ohioans that mine it, the Ohioans who work at plants to turn it into the electricity that we all use, and the Ohio families and businesses dependent on the reliable, affordable energy provided by the coal industry are on display up and down the Ohio River. I will continue to lead the effort in the House of Representatives to fight this Administration, the EPA, and their allies in Congress to stop this ‘War on Coal’.”
In 2012, Johnson authored H.R. 3409, the ‘Stop the War on Coal Act.’ This legislation passed the House with bipartisan support, on a vote of 233-175, but the Senate refused to consider the legislation. The ‘Stop the War on Coal Act’ is common sense legislation that would have prevented thousands of coal jobs losses due to destructive regulations.
Johnson added, "Protecting America’s coal industry, and the jobs that go with it, is part of a true ‘all of the above’ approach to energy production that creates jobs, lowers energy prices, and takes America one step closer to energy independence. Coal is critical to powering Ohio and America. I will always fight on behalf of the hardworking Americans who work in the coal industry, and the businesses that depend upon the reliable, cost effective energy that coal provides."