AEP achieves more than 90 percent of 1,000-megawatt wind energy goal
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 10, 2009 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) operating units have signed power purchase agreements for renewable wind energy totaling approximately 250 megawatts (MW) to serve customers in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. With these new agreements, AEP has contracted for 903.4 MW of wind generation capacity since 2007, when the company committed to adding 1,000 MW of renewable wind energy to its generation mix by 2011.
AEP’s Appalachian Power unit has contracted to purchase 100.5 MW from a wind farm in LaSalle County, Ill., that is being developed by Invenergy Wind LLC. AEP Ohio will purchase 100 MW from a wind farm in Benton County, Ind., that is being developed by BP Wind Energy. AEP’s Indiana Michigan Power unit will purchase another 50 MW from the same wind farm in Benton County. All of the power purchase agreements are for 20 years. Pricing terms are confidential.
“Since we built the first utility-scale wind farm in Texas nearly 14 years ago, AEP has supported the development of renewable generation to help diversify the U.S. electricity generation mix and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We have been able to effectively execute our aggressive plan to add 1,000 megawatts of wind energy to serve our customers in just a few years due to the rapid growth in U.S. wind projects. That growth has been fueled, in part, by federal tax credits that support renewable energy development. Those credits should be extended, as proposed in the current economic stimulus plan, to encourage renewable energy developers and equipment manufacturers to make additional investments in facilities that will support the U.S. economy.
“Continuing rapid expansion of renewable electricity generation in the United States also requires a federal plan for an extra-high voltage transmission superhighway to move renewable energy from where it is most abundant and viable to population and electricity load centers. That plan must include federal oversight for siting and widespread cost allocation for these long-distance, extra-high voltage transmission projects. Without mechanisms to support faster development of an efficient, extra-high voltage interstate transmission system, we won’t be able to achieve renewable electricity generation at 20 to 30 percent levels in our country,” Morris said.
When the wind generation from these new contracts is on line, AEP’s generation mix will include 310 MW of wind turbines owned and operated by AEP in Texas and another 1,371 MW of long-term wind energy purchase agreements for a total of 1,681 MW of wind energy in the company’s generation portfolio.
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 nearly 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 east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.