Curtis Tate Published

Federal Regulators Block Sale Of Kentucky Power To Algonquin

Large energy companies scheduled at least 93 meetings with FERC officials from mid-2010 through 2016. By contrast, records show, FERC commissioners met with environmental and public-interest groups 17 times over this period.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday denied the sale of Kentucky Power to Algonquin Power. The five-member commission said the companies had not demonstrated the deal would not have an adverse impact on rates.

Kentucky Power and Wheeling Power each own half of the Mitchell power plant in the Northern Panhandle.

Last year, West Virginia regulators approved a wastewater treatment upgrade that would keep the plant in operation past 2028. Kentucky regulators, however, did not.

Following those conflicting decisions, parent company American Electric Power announced the sale of Kentucky Power to Algonquin.

Commissioner Willie Phillips, in a concurring statement, said he would have preferred that FERC conditionally approve the sale. He noted that FERC rarely denies such applications.

He also noted that the Kentucky Public Service Commission, in approving the deal in May, had required a $30 million payment to ratepayers.

Phillips was appointed to FERC by President Joe Biden.

Kentucky Power, headquartered in Ashland, has 165,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties.

In a statement, Tammy Ridout, an AEP spokeswoman, said the company was “disappointed.”

“We are thoroughly reviewing the order and are working,” she said, “to determine the best path forward to securing FERC’s approval of the transaction.”