|The price of clean air to breathe and unpolluted water is being passed on to West Virginia electric customers.|
Appalachian Power has announced it will cost $1 billion to install scrubbers on all three power-generating units at the John Amos power plant.
500,000 residential customers in West Virginia can expect their electric bills to gradually rise from $64.55 a month to about $68.40 a month in 2011 to pay for emissions controls, said Terry Eads, the utility's director of regulatory services.
The company's corporate parent, American Electric Power, reached a settlement last week with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, eight states and 14 environmental organizations that calls for the company to limit emissions from its 16 coal-fired power plants in West Virginia and four other states.
A press release called it a $4.6 billion settlement.
AEP said the $4.6 billion is a mis-characterization.
"We had already announced we were going to spend $5.1 billion from 2004 to 2010 across all of our territory to comply with the Clean Air Act requirements," said an AEP spokesperson.
Of the $5.1 billion American Electric Power had already announced it would spend, about $3 billion is for improvements at the John Amos power plant near St. Albans, the Mountaineer plant near New Haven and the Mitchell plant near Moundsville.
It will cost $1 billion to install scrubbers on all three generating units at the John Amos plant. That work is underway but won't be finished until 2010.
The company has completed the installation of selective catalytic reduction systems on the Amos units.
Electric rates already went up 10 percent on July 1. Customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month saw their monthly bills increase from an average of $58.87 to $64.55.
The company admitted that electric costs in WV would likely go higher because of the use of coal, rather than natural gas fired generators.
Appalachian Power is proposing to build an integrated gasification combined-cycle plant in Mason County - a $2.2 billion investment, that would increase Appalachian Power's rates by 12 percent.