Nuclear and Hydroelectric Power
For decades, carbon-free electricity has been part of AEP’s generating portfolio. Customers in several states benefit from AEP’s operation of nuclear and hydroelectric generation.
Nuclear energy is one of the most reliable sources of electricity that is carbon-free. AEP’s Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Mich. can provide 2,278 MW of electricity when operating at full power.
Nuclear energy is one of the most reliable sources of electricity that is carbon-free. AEP’s Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Mich. can provide 2,278 MW of electricity when operating at full power. The plant’s two units are located along Lake Michigan’s eastern shore, producing electricity to serve our customers in Michigan and Indiana.
Cook’s two units were originally designed for a 40-year life, but in 2005 the licenses were extended by 20 years to 2034 for Unit 1 and 2037 for Unit 2. At the end of 2017, Unit 2 entered its new 20-year license renewal period, after completing 40 years of reliable service to the region. In early 2017, Unit 2 completed a refueling outage that lasted for 89 days. In addition to refueling the reactor and performing regular maintenance and testing work, we replaced the main turbine and baffle bolts, which support internal components of the reactor vessel. In March 2018, Unit 2 began its twenty-third refueling outage.
A $1.16 billion Life Cycle Management (LCM) project was initiated to determine which components would need to be replaced for the longer plant life. Unit 1 turbines were replaced following a blade failure in 2008, so Unit 2’s turbine replacement became the centerpiece of the 117 LCM projects.
The Cook Plant is part of an industry wide multi-year strategy to transform the industry and ensure the plant’s long-term viability for customers and to protect the environment. The strategy, called Delivering the Nuclear Promise, identifies efficiency measures; adopts best practices; and applies new technology solutions that improve operations, reduce costs and drive regulatory and market change to ensure nuclear energy facilities are fully recognized for their value and don’t succumb to premature reactor retirements.
Another clean energy resource serving our customers for more than a century is hydroelectric power. AEP has 884 MW of hydro and pumped storage on its system, serving customers in five states.