Cardinal Operating Company was created when Buckeye Power and American Electric Power jointly built Cardinal Power Plant in the mid-1960s, and the two utilities entered into a unique agreement: AEP would own unit 1, Buckeye Power would own unit 2, and AEP would operate both. When Buckeye Power’s unit 3 came on-line in the 1970s, AEP continued operatorship of the entire plant.
After nearly 50 years of successful partnership, Buckeye Power became the operator of the plant on March 1, 2018. AEP had announced its intention to exit the Ohio power generation market, and so Buckeye Power stepped in to ensure stability for the 25 cooperatives that rely on Cardinal Power Plant to serve 1 million people across the state.
Buckeye Power chose to operate the plant through Cardinal Operating Company, which would ensure continuity for the plant’s 300-plus employees who had previously been employed by AEP. All full-time power plant staff now are employed by COC.