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Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Power station in planning

By Timothy Cox
American Municipal Power of Ohio (AMP-Ohio) communities, including Celina, still are working toward building a huge new baseload power station in Meigs County.
Safety-Service Director Jeff Hazel said AMP Ohio President Mark Gerken soon will be visiting to discuss the next phase of the project. The city has already spent $90,000 for its share of a feasibility study.
The final cost of the power plant is expected to be $1 billion or more to be split among member communities based on how much power they draw from the station. Celina tentatively plans to draw 19 megawatts of power from the new plant, about half of the city's current daily average.
The plant is not expected to be online until 2013, Hazel said.
"This is for the long-term," Hazel said. "It's really important that we're looking into long-term power sources."
Electric prices fluctuate wildly due to energy prices, Hazel said. Most electric generation depends on the burning of coal or natural gas and prices for those commodities are prone to sharp increases, he said.
Councilman Rick Bachelor asked about the status of a proposed AMP-Ohio series of hydroelectric generators on the Ohio River.
The Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) has approved licenses for two of the five facilities, Hazel said. Celina will end up drawing between one megawatt and seven megawatts of power from the hydro stations, Hazel said, depending on how many communities participate in the joint project.
Hydroelectric plants are somewhat erratic because they rarely run at full capacity, Hazel said. They also cannot operate when the river is too high or too low, he said.
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