Appalachian Power Plans to Keep Coal-, Natural Gas-Fired Plants; Add Renewables

Appalachian Power filed its 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for Virginia which calls for continued reliance on coal, natural gas and hydro generating plants and renewable energy contracts, while expanding the development of other renewables and energy efficiency.

Appalachian annually files an IRP in Virginia for the ensuing 15 years with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC). It gives a forecast of the company’s load requirements and a plan to meet those obligations with supply- and demand-side resources over 15 years while maintaining reasonable prices, reliable service, energy independence and environmental responsibility. It’s based on current assumptions of customer load requirements, commodity price projections, supply-side alternative costs, demand-side management program costs, and the effect of environmental rules and guidelines.

The 2016 IRP includes adding 590 MW of universal solar by 2030; adding 1,800 MW of wind energy by 2030, adding 10 MW of battery storage resources in 2025; implementing customer and grid energy efficiency programs reducing capacity requirements by 203 MW by 2030; assuming 60 MW of customer added distributed generation including rooftop solar; and continuing operation of existing coal and gas-fired power plants.

“The plan is essentially a snapshot of a process that is constantly under review based on changing market conditions, the economy, and the adoption of new products by consumers among many other variables,” said Charles Patton, Appalachian’s president and chief operating officer.