Both generating units at Big Sandy opened in the 1960s and the facility employs about 120 people, said Ronn Robinson, a spokesman for Kentucky Power. The plants get their coal from mines in central Appalachia, including eastern Kentucky, he said.
Big Sandy's Unit 1, a 278-megawatt facility, is also scheduled to stop burning coal in 2015. Robinson said the utility has not yet decided on the future of that unit, including whether it would be converted to burn natural gas. Big Sandy employees would have a chance at other opportunities or be given a severance package if they stay at the plant until 2015, he said.
The West Virginia plant is owned by another American Electric Power subsidiary, AEP Ohio. In a plan filed with the Kentucky Public Service Commission this week, 50 percent ownership of the Mitchell plant would be transferred to Kentucky Power. The transfer plan must be approved by the Public Service Commission.
Kentucky Power has 173,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties.
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