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Appalachian Power seeks Va. OK for power switch

Thursday - 5/30/2013, 4:10am  ET

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) -- Appalachian Power is asking state regulators to approve the conversion of a coal-fired power plant in southwest Virginia to natural gas.

The request involves the Clinch River Plant in Russell County. The $65 million conversion would involve two of three coal-fired units. Appalachian Power says the conversion is needed because the coal-fired units are not equipped to meet recent and anticipated environmental requirements.

The company says the third coal-fired unit would be retired.

Appalachian Power is asking the State Corporation Commission to recover the costs of the conversion through ratepayers. If approved, a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours a month would pay an extra 50 cents.

The utility said it hopes to meet 2015 and 2016 construction deadlines. The conversion would create hundreds of temporary and long-term jobs.

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