COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 15, 2009 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), through its AEP Ohio unit, has signed a long-term power purchase agreement to purchase all the output of a 10.08-megawatt (MW) solar energy facility to be built in Ohio.
Through the 20-year agreement signed with Wyandot Solar LLC, a subsidiary of juwi solar Inc., AEP Ohio will purchase all of the output and renewable energy credits from the Wyandot Solar facility to be built in Salem Township, Wyandot County, Ohio. Construction of the solar facility is expected to begin in November, and commercial operation is expected by mid-summer 2010. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The agreement is AEP’s first for commercial solar energy in the company’s growing renewable portfolio. AEP’s wind energy portfolio currently is 1,783 MW, including 310 MW of wind generation owned and operated by AEP in Texas and 1,473 MW of wind energy acquired through long-term power purchase agreements. On June 1, AEP issued a request for proposals seeking long-term purchases of up to 1,100 MW of additional renewable energy resources as part of the company’s goal to add 2,000 MW of new wind or other renewable energy by the end of 2011. The goal is a component of the company’s strategy to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
“This is our first agreement with a utility-scale solar facility, although we do have small solar installations on two of our buildings in Ohio,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Our growing renewable portfolio has significantly diversified our fuel mix, helping us to meet our customers’ energy needs while reducing our environmental impact.”
Morris noted that the Wyandot Solar facility will be built on property near an AEP substation.
“But that isn’t typical,” Morris said. “Most often, areas best suited for large-scale wind or solar energy production are in remote, sparsely populated regions far from metropolitan areas in need of energy. The challenge is delivering that renewable energy from areas where it can be most efficiently produced to areas where it is needed most. AEP continues to advocate the development of a true national interstate transmission system to better integrate renewables into the nation’s energy mix and make the best use of existing power generation resources. We have multiple transmission projects in the works that represent an important first step toward this goal, and we continue to work with others to make it happen.”
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.
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: electric load and customer growth; weather conditions, including storms; available sources and costs of, and transportation for, fuels and the creditworthiness and performance 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 (including the ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to recover those costs (including the costs of projects that are canceled) 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 of new investments in generation, distribution and transmission service and environmental compliance); resolution of litigation (including 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 or contraction in AEP’s service territory and changes in market demand and demographic patterns; inflationary and interest rate trends; volatility in the financial markets, particularly developments affecting the availability of capital on reasonable terms and developments impacting AEP’s ability to refinance existing debt at attractive rates; 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 markets; actions of rating agencies, including changes in the ratings of debt; volatility and changes in markets for electricity, natural gas, coal, nuclear fuel and other energy-related commodities; changes in utility regulation, including the implementation of the recently passed utility law in Ohio and the allocation of costs within regional transmission organizations; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; the impact of volatility in the capital markets on the value of the investments held by AEP’s pension, other postretirement benefit plans and nuclear decommissioning trust and the impact on future funding requirements; prices for power that AEP generates and sells at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to new, developing or alternative sources of generation; and other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes and other catastrophic events.