Company may re-evaluate Wheeling Power merger with denial of Mitchell Plant ownership transfer
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 1, 2013 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) yesterday received approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to transfer the AEP Ohio-owned portion of John E. Amos Plant Unit 3 to Appalachian Power. The Virginia SCC also approved the merger of Wheeling Power with Appalachian Power, but denied transfer of 50 percent of the 1,600-megawatt (MW) Mitchell Plant to Appalachian Power.
“We are pleased that the Virginia Commission approved transfer of the AEP Ohio-owned portion of Amos Plant to Appalachian Power, but the decision to deny the transfer of half of the Mitchell Plant’s generating capacity is disappointing. Although the Virginia Commission approved the merger of Wheeling Power with Appalachian Power, denial of the Mitchell Plant ownership transfer is a complicating factor because there will be insufficient generation resources to serve the merged company. AEP intends to bring this matter to the attention of the parties and the Public Service Commission of West Virginia in the asset transfer case and may re-evaluate the merger,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP president and chief executive officer.
If the Wheeling Power and Appalachian Power merger does not proceed, our corporate separation order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would allow the transfer of Wheeling Power’s existing power purchase agreement with AEP Ohio to AEP Generation Resources to serve those customers at cost-based rates. This would protect Wheeling Power customers by continuing their existing source of generation supply,” Akins said.
AEP filed in December 2012 for approval from the Virginia SCC and the Public Service Commission of West Virginia to transfer AEP Ohio’s two-thirds ownership (867 MW) of Amos Plant Unit 3 (1,300 MW) and 800 MW of the 1,600-MW generating capacity of Mitchell Plant to Appalachian Power. Approval from the Public Service Commission of West Virginia still is necessary to complete the transfer of Amos Plant Unit 3 to Appalachian Power.
AEP also filed to transfer ownership of the remaining 800 MW of the 1,600-MW generating capacity of Mitchell Plant to Kentucky Power. A settlement agreement approving that transfer was reached with several parties in the case. A decision on the settlement agreement is pending before the Kentucky Public Service Commission.
“We will continue to work with regulators in West Virginia and Kentucky to seek the additional approvals necessary to transfer the AEP Ohio-owned share of the Amos Plant to Appalachian Power and to transfer 800 megawatts of Mitchell Plant to Kentucky Power to help satisfy their existing and long-term generation requirements,” Akins said.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5.3 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 40,000-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