American Electric Power (AEP) will idle older, coal-fired power plants to reduce costs.

AEP chairman and chief executive Michael Morris told Dow Jones that several thousand megawatts of capacity could be shut down over the next 18 months as part of plans to trim expenses.

The temporary closures will affect older, less-efficient units and the plants will be restarted as power demand recovers.

AEP owns about 39,000MW of generating capacity.