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Ohio regulators approve AEP plan to retire 1,500 MW of coal generation

Ohio is making steps towards greater reliance on solar and other clean energy sources.  With the retirement of 1500MW of coal, the state is looking to replace most of that lost generation with large-scale solar facilities, with a focus on giving jobs to veterans.

Ohio regulators have formally approved a settlement designed to shift the direction of the state’s energy future while shoring up resource issues related to struggling coal plants. Announced in December of 2015, the agreement marked a stark reversal from AEP’s efforts to keep the generation online.

As previously reported, the deal calls for AEP’s power purchase agreements would end in 2024, and covers generation from nine AEP generating units — Unit 1 at the Cardinal coal plant, Units 4-6 at the Conesville plant, Units 1-4 at the Stuart plant and Unit 1 at Zimmer. Power purchase agreements would also cover the utility’s 423 MW contractual share of Ohio Valley Electric Corp. generation.

In exchange, the utility would convert Units 5 and 6 at its Conesville plant to co-fire natural gas by the end of next year and retire or repower those units to use only natural gas by the end of 2029 and 2030, respectively.

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