Thursday, February 8, 2018

More on AEP and coal

Me being me, I couldn't let the AEP news from earlier this week — about how it will downplay coal-fired generation in its long-term plans — go without looking at some numbers.

So I went to a database I had downloaded and looked at AEP plants here in the Ohio Valley. I didn't count those in Texas and Oklahoma, as they probably don't get much coal by Ohio River barge. I looked at coal-fired plants only.

What I came up with was a list of six power plants plus a terminal in Illinois, which I assume is the one that transfers coal from Wyoming to barge for delivery to the plant at Rockport, Ind.

The basic question is, how much coal did AEP's power plants take delivery of in 2016? I could use numbers from 2017, but those are not final and are subject to revision. Final numbers for 2017 won't be available until October.

Here are the plants and the tons of coal delivered to them last year, if my queries using Microsoft Access worked.

Cardinal (Ohio): 3,842,585
Conesville (Ohio): 1,999,230
John E. Amos (W.Va): 5,614,408
Mitchell (W.Va.): 3,021,951
Mountaineer (W.Va.): 3,090,964
Rockport (Ind.): 845,558
CCT Terminal (Ill.): 5,025,421
TOTAL: 23,440,117

Now we should add in the General James M. Gavin plant in Ohio, as it was owned by AEP in 2016 but has since been sold. Gavin took delivery of 6,214,311 tons in 2016, bringing the total to 29,654,311.

Also, this does not include plants that AEP participates in with other companies, such as Kyger Creek and J.M. Stuart.

Not all of that coal was delivered by river. Some came by rail and some by other means. The numbers show that about 20.5 million tons was delivered by river. That does not include the 5 million tons that moved through CCT Terminal.

River plus CCT gives us about 25.5 million tons. At 1,500 tons per barge, that's 16,999 barges or about 1,134 tows of 15 barges each.

If you wonder where the tons delivered by river came from, here are the numbers by state, again assuming my Microsoft Access query worked:

Kentucky: 470,134
Ohio: 8,885,448
Pennsylvania: 1,839,481
West Virginia: 9,277,601

All the coal that moved through CCT came from Wyoming.

Those numbers will change when the final totals for 2017 can be calculated, as the Gavin sale was completed that year.

So for those of you who have an economic interest in the shift from coal-fired electricity generation to other sources, this is part of what's happening.