Power company puts hold on carbon capture project

By the Associated Press | July 14, 2011 | 9:59 AM EDT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — American Electric Power Co. Inc. has put a hold on its plans for a commercial-scale carbon dioxide capture and storage project in West Virginia.

The Columbus, Ohio-based power supplier said Thursday it has put the project aside because of what the company described as a weak economy and uncertainty about U.S. climate policy.

AEP chairman and CEO Michael Morris says in a statement that it doesn't make economic sense to continue the work at this time.

The system at the utility's coal-fired Mountaineer power plant in New Haven, West Virginia, had been expected to begin commercial operation in 2015.

AEP was chosen by the U.S. Energy Department to receive up to $334 million in funding for the project. The company says it's terminating its cooperative agreement with the department.