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AEP to shut down North Texas coal-fired power plant

By: Kallanish Energy |

American Electric Power announced last week that it will shut down its coal-fired Oklaunion Power Station by September 2020, Kallanish Energy reports.

The 690-megawatt plant in Vernon, Texas, is unable to compete with cheaper electricity from renewables and natural gas-fired power plants in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot) region of the electricity grid, the utility said.

The plant in North Texas near the Oklahoma border provides power to customers in Texas and Oklahoma.

The news was announced last week and the city of Vernon posted the news on its Facebook account.

The plant could close anytime between April and September 2020, it noted.

Eighty workers would be affected.

The plant has come under fire for creating smoggy skies from nitrogen oxide emissions.

AEP is the plant’s operator and majority owner.

The plant has four owners: AEP Texas, 54%, Brownsville Public Utilities Board, 18%. AEP’s Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, 16% and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, 12%.

The Oklaunion plant is 32 years old.

Four other coal-fired power plants in Texas have been closed or will be shut down soon due toi dire economics.