AEP is committed to ensuring a Just Transition for our communities when we retire about 5,300 megawatts of coal-fueled generation this decade as part of our transition to cleaner and more affordable energy. The idea of a “Just Transition” is that people and communities are not left behind as the nation moves to a clean energy economy.
Just Transition requires first recognizing the impacts associated with retiring coal generation. These impacts are especially apparent in communities and regions dependent on the fossil fuel industry for jobs, a tax base that supports public services such as education and safety, corporate philanthropic support, and volunteerism.
In 2020, AEP conducted an economic impact analysis of a coal plant retirement. On average, a typical coal-fueled plant operated by AEP generates $160 million in regional economic activity, generates $63 million in labor income, and supports more than 700 regional jobs annually.
Ultimately, each direct job at a plant is found to support an additional two to three jobs in the region, including supply chain jobs, and restaurant, retail and leisure jobs created because of employee spending.
Economic Impact Analysis
On average, a typical coal-fueled plant operated by AEP:
- Generates $160 million in regional economic activity
- Generates $63 million in labor income
- Supports more than 700 regional jobs annually
Partnerships & Collaboration
Addressing these impacts requires partnerships and collaboration between the public and private sectors to ensure communities are equipped to diversify their local economies and provide for their long-term resilience and sustainability. As a large owner/operator of coal-fired generation, we are committed to being part of the solution to help position communities and employees for economic stability and success, long after a plant ceases operations.
Partnering with Communities
AEP supports the creation of a Community Transition Task Force in communities where it plans to retire a coal plant. This task force works together to outline a vision and plan for the community’s future vitality. Each community taskforce is facilitated by an independent organization that helps communities impacted by coal plant closures.
The taskforce includes volunteers who represent local leaders, K-12 schools, colleges and technical schools, chambers of commerce, economic development teams, councils of government and religious leaders, among others. The taskforce includes a broad spectrum of members including underrepresented communities. Although the taskforce extends membership invitations to ensure diversity and points of view, everyone is invited to join the conversation. Community meetings are public.
AEP provides the taskforce with information about the plant, including employees’ skill sets, and answers community questions. AEP's regional electric utility and plant manager are members of the taskforce, but they do not lead it or dictate the community’s plan for the future.
Partnering with Employees
AEP creates an internal Workforce Transition Team to support our employees impacted by coal plant retirements.
This task force provides:
- Voluntary career development workshops that include services such as résumé writing, mock interviews, job market reviews, and comparisons of knowledge, skills and abilities with the qualifications needed for technical positions within other AEP business units
- One-on-one career counseling
- On-site job fairs
- Collaboration with external partners for job training programs
- Exposure to internal and external job opportunities