COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 10, 2010 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has named A. Wade Smith president and chief operating officer for AEP Texas, effective July 1. Smith currently is vice president - Transmission Engineering & Project Services for AEP Transmission.
Smith will have responsibility for AEP´s two utilities operating in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Texas Central Company and Texas North Company. Smith will report to Venita McCellon-Allen, president and chief operating officer of Southwestern Electric Power Co. He will be replacing Pablo Vegas, who was named vice president - Information Technology and chief information officer for AEP May 13.
“Wade has a significant depth of experience in all areas of our business. His demonstrated leadership skills will be key as we continue to manage the impact of a struggling economy and maintain our commitment to providing reliable, reasonably priced service in the evolving Texas marketplace. Wade started his career with our company in Texas, and I know his understanding of the state and unique perspective on our business will serve us well,” McCellon-Allen said.
Smith, 45, has been vice president - Transmission Engineering & Project Services since July 2008. He joined AEP Transmission in February 2008 as managing director - Transmission. Smith served as director, Gas Turbine & Joint Venture - Generation, from 2004 to 2008 with responsibility for AEP´s combustion turbine-based generation in the east, the company´s wind generation facilities and jointly-owned coal plants not operated by AEP. From 2000 to 2004, Smith was executive director - IPP & Wind and had responsibility for 12 independent power projects. He also directed operations in Florida for CSW Energy and managed the partnerships that owned two cogeneration facilities. Smith began his career with the former Central and South West Corp. in 1989 as an engineer at Fort Phantom Power Station in Abilene, Texas. He worked for several years at Oklaunion Station in Vernon, Texas, and was plant manager at Oak Creek Station in Blackwell, Texas.
Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and a master’s of business administration from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. He is a graduate of The Executive Program-Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
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.