CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, April 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power (AEP) will continue investing in its regulated businesses, renewables and new technologies to deliver value to customers and shareholders, according to Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. Akins addressed shareholders at the company's annual meeting today in Corpus Christi, Texas.
"Over the next five years, we plan to invest $33 billion in our regulated businesses and contracted renewables, including $16.6 billion in transmission and $8.3 billion in distribution. Our capital investment plan supports our target operating earnings growth range of 5% to 7%," Akins said.
AEP's forecasted $2.7 billion renewable energy investment between 2019 and 2023 includes the company's recent acquisition of Sempra Renewables LLC and planned purchase of a 75% interest in the Santa Rita East Wind Project, adding 951 megawatts of wind generation and storage to AEP's contracted renewable portfolio.
AEP has delivered a total shareholder return of 25.4% since April 2018. The company increased its quarterly dividend by 8.1% to 67 cents per share in 2018, and the transmission business contributed 75 cents per share to earnings last year.
"AEP continually delivers strong earnings and dividend growth driven by our investments in a smarter, cleaner energy system," Akins said. "Beyond our capital investments, our employees and their commitment to the customers and communities we serve drives the success of our company. Our talented workforce is focused on providing reliable, affordable and cleaner energy and new technologies to meet our customers' needs and expectations," Akins said.
In business items at the annual shareholders meeting, AEP shareholders elected 13 directors. Directors elected to the board are: Nicholas K. Akins, 58, of New Albany, Ohio; David J. Anderson, 69, of Greenwich, Conn.; J. Barnie Beasley Jr., 67, of Sylvania, Ga.; Ralph D. Crosby Jr., 71, of McLean, Va.; Linda A. Goodspeed, 57, of Marco Island, Fla.; Thomas E. Hoaglin, 69, of Columbus, Ohio; Sandra Beach Lin, 61, of Flower Mound, Texas; Margaret M. McCarthy, 65, of North Chatham, Mass.; Richard C. Notebaert, 71, of Naples, Fla.; Lionel L. Nowell III, 64, of Marco Island, Fla.; Stephen S. Rasmussen, 66, of Columbus, Ohio; Oliver G. Richard III, 66, of Lake Charles, La.; and Sara Martinez Tucker, 64, of Dallas.
Approximately 99% of shares voted ratified the firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as AEP's independent public accounting firm for 2019.
Approximately 95% of shares voted indicated support for AEP's proposal to amend its articles of incorporation to eliminate preemptive rights.
Approximately 95% of shares voted indicated support for AEP's executive officer compensation program.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP's approximately 18,000 employees operate and maintain the nation's largest electricity transmission system and nearly 220,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation's largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 4,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP's family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.
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