SHREVEPORT, La., June 1, 2010 – Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), today filed a petition for rehearing at the Arkansas Supreme Court. The request follows the court’s May 13 decision that reversed the Arkansas Public Service Commission’s approval of the John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant in 2007. The petition asks for a rehearing of SWEPCO’s motion to dismiss the case, which was denied as part of the court’s May 13 ruling.
"We remain focused on ensuring that Arkansas customers benefit from the portion of the Turk Plant planned to serve their future energy needs,” said Paul Chodak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. "Reliable and affordable electricity from the Turk Plant and two natural gas-fueled plants in SWEPCO’s new generation construction program are essential to the continued economic growth and vitality of SWEPCO’s three-state service territory.”
SWEPCO is continuing construction of the $1.7 billion project in order to meet its commitments to serve the company’s customers in three states. SWEPCO owns 440 megawatts, or 73 percent, of the plant’s 600-megawatt capacity. SWEPCO’s share of the plant cost is an estimated $1.3 billion.
The APSC granted SWEPCO’s application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (CECPN) on Nov. 21, 2007, and issued an amended CECPN on Dec. 31, 2007. The CECPN provided approval for SWEPCO to build the Turk Plant to serve the company’s Arkansas customers.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission and Public Utility Commission of Texas approved construction of the plant, in March 2008 and July 2008, respectively, to serve SWEPCO’s Louisiana and Texas customers. SWEPCO began construction after receiving an air permit from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality in November 2008.
As of March, 31, 2010, approximately $959 million had been spent on the Turk project, including $742 million by SWEPCO for its 73 percent share of the plant. As of March 31, SWEPCO and the joint owners had an additional $459 million in contractual commitments for the plant, including $337 million for SWEPCO. The overall project, including engineering and related activities, is about 33 percent complete. Construction of the plant itself is about 22 percent complete.
“Through new and existing generation, renewable energy and energy efficiency, SWEPCO is committed to meeting the future energy needs of our customers,” Chodak said.
SWEPCO´s balanced approach to new generation includes coal and natural gas plants. The 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fueled Turk Plant in southwest Arkansas is a base load facility designed to meet customers’ need for power that is consistently available 24/7. The projected completion date for the Turk Plant is October 2012. The 508-MW combined-cycle, natural gas-fueled Stall Unit is an intermediate facility designed to provide power that is quickly available as customers’ needs increase and decrease. The Stall Unit is under construction in Shreveport, La., and is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2010. The 300-MW simple-cycle, natural gas-fueled Mattison Plant in Tontitown, Ark., was completed in 2007 and is now helping to meet peak demand on the SWEPCO system. Together, these three plants will allow SWEPCO to continue the fuel diversity that has resulted in some of the lowest electricity prices in the region for many years.
The Turk Plant´s "ultra-supercritical" advanced coal combustion technology will use less coal and produce fewer emissions, including carbon dioxide, than traditional pulverized coal plants. The plant will use low-sulfur coal and will include state-of-the-art emission control technologies, including a design that allows for the retrofit of carbon dioxide controls. “It will be one of the cleanest, most efficient coal-fueled plants in the United States,” Chodak said.
SWEPCO serves more than 473,500 customers in three states, including 113,500 in western Arkansas, 180,000 in Northwest Louisiana, and 180,000 in East and North Texas. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at www.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 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 and north Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio. News releases and other information about AEP can be found at www.aep.com.
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 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 AEP’s ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) 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; 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 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 sells 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.