Utility giant American Electric Power said Thursday that it will shut down five coal-fired power plants and spend billions of dollars to comply with a series of pending Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
The agency also stressed that the regulations are essential for protecting public health.
The company, one of the country’s largest electric utilities, estimated that it will cost between $6 billion and $8 billion in capital investments over the next decade to comply with the regulations in their current form.
The costs of complying with the regulations will result in an increase in electricity prices of 10 to 35 percent and cost 600 jobs, AEP said.
In total, AEP estimated it will have to close five coal-fired power plants by the end of 2014. Six additional plants would see major changes, including retiring some generating units, retrofitting equipment and switching to natural gas.