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Headquartered in Columbus, American Electric Power (AEP) is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serving nearly three million customers in seven states. About 500,000 of those customers live in West Virginia, where the company operates through its subsidiary, Appalachian Power Company. For several years after 1996 Appalachian Power Company and other AEP subsidiaries operated under the AEP name. Appalachian Power Company, often called Apco, has operated under its own name since 2004, reestablishing a familiar corporate identity. The company serves about half of West Virginia households, mostly in the southern counties.

West Virginia is home to AEP’s largest generating facility—the giant coal-fired John E. Amos Plant, located on the Kanawha River west of Charleston. The 2.9-million-kilowatt Amos Plant uses an average of nearly 14,000 tons of West Virginia coal each day but reaches nearly 28,000 tons a day during peak seasons. The company has two other coal-fired generating stations in West Virginia: in Mason County and Marshall County. In addition it operates mining subsidiaries and a fleet of towboats and barges, based at Lakin, Mason County. In all, AEP employs nearly 17,000 people nationally and about 2,000 West Virginians.

American Electric Power and Allegheny Energy were partners in a project called the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH). The companies planned to build a 280-mile high-voltage power line that would start near the John Amos Plant in Putnam County and cross a dozen West Virginia counties, as well as parts of Virginia and Maryland. The PATH project was put on hold while additional studies are done of the potential demand for power provided by the transmission line.

American Electric Power is a contributor to the West Virginia Encyclopedia.

This Article was written by James E. Casto

Last Revised on October 04, 2023

Cite This Article

Casto, James E. "American Electric Power." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 04 October 2023. Web. 27 May 2024.


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