By Curtis Tate
May 4, 2023 - We now know why part of the John Amos power plant was down during December’s Winter Storm Elliott that threatened rolling blackouts due to sub-zero temperatures.
During the Christmas Weekend deep freeze, two of the three units at the Amos power plant were not available to produce electricity.
According to written testimony filed Friday to the West Virginia Public Service Commission by Appalachian Power, Unit 1 was down for planned upgrades to its wastewater treatment and coal ash disposal systems. Those upgrades are required to keep Amos operating beyond 2028 in compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules.
Only Unit 2 was operating during that time.
Unit 3, the plant’s biggest, was shut down on Dec. 20 because of a tube leak that required immediate repair. The unit was not available again until Dec. 27, when the crisis was over.
Ultimately, no rolling blackouts occurred in West Virginia or the 12 other states in the PJM regional power grid. But Appalachian Power did ask its customers to conserve electricity.
Appalachian Power is an underwriter of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.