SHREVEPORT, La., July 12, 2007 – American Electric Power’s (NYSE: AEP) Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) has begun commercial operation of the new Harry D. Mattison Power Plant at Tontitown, Ark.
Two simple-cycle, natural-gas combustion turbines were declared in commercial operation July 12, 2007. For service this summer, the units have an initial combined capacity of 150 megawatts (MW). After the installation of additional equipment this fall, the capacity will increase by 20 MW to a combined capacity of 170 MW.
Another two combustion turbines with a combined capacity of 170 MW are under construction and scheduled for completion in December 2007. When complete, the four units in the $131 million project will have a total capacity of 340 MW. The possibility of adding more capacity at the site will be evaluated.
SWEPCO announced plans May 31, 2006, to build up to 480 MW of peaking generation at Tontitown. Peaking facilities are used primarily to meet higher demand during summer months when heat and humidity lead to increased air conditioning use and demand on the electric system.
“This is a significant addition of generation to help meet the growing energy needs of SWEPCO customers in the region,” said Venita McCellon-Allen, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “The project was fast-tracked to get ready for this summer’s peak demand. It took an exceptional effort and lots of teamwork among SWEPCO, AEP Engineering, Wood Group Power Solutions, AEP Transmission, SWEPCO Distribution and many other company and contractor groups to make this possible. In less than seven months, the site was transformed from a pasture to an operating 150-megawatt power station, with construction continuing to bring the plant to its full 340 megawatts later this year.”
The plant will be managed and operated by staff at SWEPCO’s nearby Flint Creek Power Plant in Gentry, Ark., where Dan Lee is plant manager.
The facility is named for Harry D. Mattison, who was president and chief executive officer of Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) from 1988 through 1990. A 33-year employee, Mattison is a native Arkansan and a graduate of the University of Arkansas.
SWEPCO serves over 464,000 customers in three states, including 112,000 in western Arkansas, 176,000 in Northwest Louisiana, and 176,000 in East Texas and the North Texas Panhandle. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at http://swepco.com
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as 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 Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.
This report made by AEP 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: electric load and customer growth; weather conditions, including storms; available sources and costs of, and transportation for, fuels and the creditworthiness of fuel suppliers and transporters; availability of generating capacity and the performance of AEP’s generating plants; AEP’s ability to recover regulatory assets and stranded costs in connection with deregulation; AEP’s ability to recover increases in fuel and other energy costs through regulated or competitive electric rates; AEP’s ability to build or acquire generating capacity when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to recover those costs through applicable rate cases or competitive rates; new legislation, litigation and government regulation including requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances; timing and resolution of pending and future rate cases, negotiations and other regulatory decisions (including rate or other recovery for new investments, transmission service and environmental compliance); resolution of litigation (including pending Clean Air Act enforcement actions and disputes arising from the bankruptcy of Enron Corp. and related matters); AEP’s ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; the economic climate and growth in AEP’s service territory and changes in market demand and demographic patterns; inflationary and interest rate trends; AEP’s ability to develop and execute a strategy based on a view regarding prices of electricity, natural gas and other energy-related commodities; 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 debt; volatility and changes in markets for electricity, natural gas and other energy-related commodities; changes in utility regulation, including the potential for new legislation or regulation in Ohio and membership in and integration into regional transmission organizations; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; the performance of AEP’s pension and other postretirement benefit plans; prices for power that AEP generates and sell at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to new, developing or alternative sources of generation; other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes and other catastrophic events.