Duke Energy, along with joint owners American Electric Power (AEP) and Dayton Power & Light (DP&L), finalized the sales transaction of their retired Walter C. Beckjord coal-fired power plant in Clermont County, Ohio, to Commercial Liability Partners (CLP). CLP will repurpose much of the property on site for future development.
With this announcement, CLP will address environmental needs, including groundwater monitoring, abatement, decommissioning and demolition of the facility. In the coming weeks, CLP will work under the direction of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) to determine final environmental plans for the site, which includes the station and surrounding coal ash ponds.
"Beckjord Station powered our region and played a vital role in the county's economy for countless families and businesses," said Jim Henning, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. "We've pursued an outcome that will advance the county's priorities with regard to safeguarding the environment and revitalizing the property and we're pleased that this historic property is poised for a second act as an integral part of our community."
"Today's announcement is an important milestone in the ongoing process to decommission the retired units at the Beckjord site and the ultimate removal of the power plant's footprint to ground level," said Ron Froh, CEO and president of CLP. "This is an important step in bringing new life and economic development potential to the site and the region. We look forward to working under the direction of the OEPA, and in partnership with local officials, to determine final environmental plans for the site."
In order to help facilitate future economic development opportunities for Clermont County, Duke Energy will contribute $750,000 over a three-year period to Connect Clermont, a nonprofit community organization designed to implement countywide priorities. Connect Clermont will serve as the fiscal agent for the funds.
"As evident from our long-standing and valued partnership, Duke Energy believes in Clermont County," said Henning. "We are confident that, with this support and the leadership of Connect Clermont, the county will achieve many of the goals outlined in their Agenda for the Future."
Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
Duke Energy will continue to own and operate the transmission substation and switchyard located near the plant as the company continues to invest in the modernization of its electric grid. Duke Energy Renewables will own and operate the two battery storage units on site.
History of the station
The construction of the W.C. Beckjord Station was announced on Nov. 10, 1948, upstream of Cincinnati on the Ohio River. The site was dedicated on June 12, 1952, with the first 100-megawatt (MW) unit in commercial operation. Five additional units were added by 1969 for a total site capacity of 1,202 MW. In the early 1970s, four oil-fired combustion turbines were added, with nameplate capacities of 61 MW each.
Duke Energy Ohio owned 100 percent of the first five generating units at the station. Duke Energy Ohio jointly owned Unit 6 (37.5 percent ownership), along with AEP (12.5 percent ownership) and DP&L (50 percent ownership).
After more than 60 years of safely and reliably serving Duke Energy Ohio's customers, the plant was retired in 2014, as significant equipment upgrades would have been needed to comply with evolving environmental regulations. Beckjord Station was a six-unit pulverized coal-fired electric generating station. The last remaining operational coal-fired units, Units 5 and 6, were retired in October 2014. The four combustion turbines were retired in December 2014.