Projects would provide clean energy to benefit customers in four states
COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power (AEP) today announced that its Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO) and Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) companies are seeking regulatory approvals to purchase three wind projects, totaling 1,485 megawatts (MW), that are currently under development in Oklahoma.
The projects include a 999-MW wind facility being built north of Weatherford, a 287-MW wind facility being built southwest of Enid, and a 199-MW facility being built south of Alva. They are being developed by Invenergy. These projects were selected after competitive Request for Proposals (RFPs) to procure low-cost wind generation options for PSO and SWEPCO customers. The 199-MW project is projected to be completed by the end of 2020. The other projects will be completed by the end of 2021. Collectively, the three wind projects would provide more than 5.7 million megawatt-hours of new wind energy annually to serve customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
If approved, total investment in the wind projects would be nearly $2 billion, inclusive of all costs. Adding this generation is expected to save SWEPCO and PSO customers approximately $3 billion, net of cost, over 30 years.
"AEP continues to add clean, renewable generation to our power plant fleet, driven by the expectations of our customers and technology advances. Purchasing these wind facilities is consistent with our strategy of investing in the energy resources of the future, and it will save our customers money while providing significant economic benefits to local communities. This renewable generation will enable us to provide our PSO and SWEPCO customers with the affordable, reliable and clean power they have said they want," said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer.
If approved as proposed, SWEPCO would own 810 MW of wind generation, approximately 55% of the projects. PSO would own 675 MW of wind generation, approximately 45% of the projects. The projects are subject to regulatory approvals in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, as well as from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The amount of generation acquired by PSO or SWEPCO can be scaled, subject to commercial limitations, to align with individual state resource needs as determined by the respective state commissions.
In addition to these projects, AEP recently added 724 MW of wind and battery generation to its contracted competitive portfolio and has proposed adding more than 9,100 MW of new wind and solar generation and nearly 2,300 MW of new natural gas generation to its regulated power plant fleet by 2030 to diversify its power production portfolio. AEP already has cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 59% since 2000.
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 more than 18,000 employees operate and maintain the nation's largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 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 nearly 5,300 megawatts of renewable generation. 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 and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.
This report made by American Electric Power and its Registrant Subsidiaries contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although AEP and each of its Registrant Subsidiaries believe that their expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are: changes in economic conditions, electric market demand and demographic patterns in AEP service territories; inflationary or deflationary interest rate trends; volatility in the financial markets, particularly developments affecting the availability or cost of capital to finance new capital projects and refinance existing debt; the availability and cost of funds to finance working capital and capital needs, particularly during periods when the time lag between incurring costs and recovery is long and the costs are material; electric load and customer growth; weather conditions, including storms and drought conditions, and AEP's ability to recover significant storm restoration costs; the cost of fuel and its transportation, the creditworthiness and performance of fuel suppliers and transporters and the cost of storing and disposing of used fuel, including coal ash and spent nuclear fuel; availability of necessary generating capacity, the performance of AEP's generating plants and the availability of fuel; AEP's ability to recover fuel and other energy costs through regulated or competitive electric rates; AEP's ability to build or acquire renewable generation, transmission lines and facilities (including the ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to recover those costs; new legislation, litigation and government regulation, including oversight of nuclear generation, energy commodity trading and new or heightened requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances that could impact the continued operation, cost recovery, and/or profitability of AEP's generation plants and related assets; evolving public perception of the risks associated with fuels used before, during and after the generation of electricity, including nuclear fuel; timing and resolution of pending and future rate cases, negotiations and other regulatory decisions, including rate or other recovery of new investments in generation, distribution and transmission service and environmental compliance; resolution of litigation; AEP's ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; prices and demand for power generated and sold at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to energy storage and new, developing, alternative or distributed sources of generation; AEP's ability to recover through rates any remaining unrecovered investment in generating units that may be retired before the end of their previously projected useful lives; volatility and changes in markets for capacity and electricity, coal, and other energy-related commodities, particularly changes in the price of natural gas; changes in utility regulation and the allocation of costs within regional transmission organizations, including ERCOT, PJM and SPP; changes in the creditworthiness of the counterparties with whom AEP has contractual arrangements, including participants in the energy trading market; actions of rating agencies, including changes in the ratings of AEP debt; the impact of volatility in the capital markets on the value of the investments held by AEP's pension, other postretirement benefit plans, captive insurance entity and nuclear decommissioning trust and the impact of such volatility on future funding requirements; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; and other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes, cyber security threats and other catastrophic events.
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