Power generated locally going to Kentucky

MOUNDSVILLE – Half of the power generated at American Electric Power’s Mitchell Plant in Marshall County now is going to Kentucky, as the corporation recently completed its deal to transfer the wattage from one of its subsidiaries to another.

As this transfer takes effect, AEP is posting 2013 profits of about $1.48 billion. This reflects roughly a $220 million increase from the $1.26 billion collected in 2012.

AEP spokeswoman Melissa McHenry said 50 percent of Mitchell’s generation now belongs to Kentucky Power. The remaining 50 percent belongs to “AEP Generation Sources,” but McHenry said most of this continues to be used in Marshall and Ohio counties.

AEP Ohio, Wheeling Power, Appalachian Power and Kentucky Power are all subsidiaries of Columbus, Ohio-based AEP.

The coal-fired Mitchell plant is 43 years old, but had scrubbers installed in 2007. AEP has already announced plans to completely shutter the nearby Kammer plant by the end of 2014.

Despite the Mitchell transfer and the projected Kammer closure, AEP is looking to reduce rates for Ohio customers by an average of 9 percent. The plan recently filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio would allow those buying electricity from AEP to realize the discount from June 1, 2015, to May 31, 2018.

For residential customers using an average of 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, the plan would lower a customer’s total monthly bill by approximately $9 in June 2015. The overall average rate discount of 9 percent includes all customers, including residential and commercial.

Meanwhile, AEP Chairman, President and CEO Nicholas K. Akins referred to the company’s 2013 financial performance as “solid.”

“We benefited from successful regulatory proceedings in several jurisdictions, and our transmission investments delivered earnings improvement in every quarter, with transmission nearly doubling its earnings contribution in 2013,” Akins said.

“We completed corporate separation of our Ohio assets on schedule and received all necessary approvals to transfer our AEP Ohio generating assets Dec. 31 to regulated affiliates and our new competitive generation affiliate. I’m most impressed with the diligence and performance of our employees over the last year. We completed a second consecutive year with no fatalities, and they demonstrated an incredible commitment to safety, environmental stewardship and process improvement. Their creativity and focus on doing things better have been amazing, and I’m confident that we’ll identify additional sustainable savings as we expand our initiatives to more areas of the company,” he said.