COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 5, 2009 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) operating unit Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) has signed long-term power purchase agreements for approximately 198 megawatts of renewable energy from two Oklahoma wind farms.
Through the 20-year agreements, PSO will purchase 98.9 megawatts (MW) from a wind farm in Elk City, Okla., being developed by NextEra Energy Resource (formerly FPL Energy) and 99 megawatts from an expansion of Horizon Wind Energy’s Blue Canyon facilities north of Lawton, Okla. Both sites are expected to be operational by Dec. 31. The agreements are part of PSO’s long-term energy supply plan and are subject to approval by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
“Wind energy can play an important role in our ongoing efforts to balance our customers’ demands for electricity with the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “With these agreements, AEP has contracted to add 653 megawatts of renewable wind energy to our generation mix in just the last two years, and we are on target to achieve our voluntary goal of adding 1,000 megawatts of new renewable generation to serve our customers by 2011.”
Including the new PSO agreements, AEP’s generation mix includes 310 MW of wind turbines owned and operated by AEP in Texas and another 1,120 MW of long-term wind energy purchase agreements for a total of 1,430 MW of wind energy in the company’s generation portfolio.
“Renewable generation development is an important part of any strategy to address climate change. To help facilitate additional wind and solar energy development, we need to end the uncertainty that stifles investment by putting in place long-term support for renewable energy projects,” Morris said.
“We also need federal support for interstate transmission siting to enable development of a very efficient transmission superhighway to transport renewable energy from where it is most viable to population and electricity load centers. Interstate transmission lines are a critical piece of infrastructure that don’t require a federal handout but would greatly benefit from federal siting authority to reduce risk and encourage private investment,” Morris added.
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.