COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 18, 2006 -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) was named to the “Climate Leadership Index” in a report released today by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a coalition of global investors with more than $31.5 trillion in assets. The CDP report is a survey of the responses of FT500 corporations to the issue of climate change.
The “Climate Leadership Index” includes 50 global corporations who were distinguished by the disclosure of their strategic awareness of the risks and opportunities of a carbon constrained environment, as well as the quality and effectiveness of programs they have put in place to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report.
“AEP has been actively engaged in efforts aimed at successfully addressing global climate change since the early 1990s, and we are very proud to be recognized for taking a leadership role in our industry on this issue,” said Dennis E. Welch, AEP senior vice president, Environment, Safety & Health. “We’ve long believed it is important to go beyond simply talking about what should be done and move forward with real reductions in our current greenhouse gas emissions as well as investments in clean-coal generation that will reduce future greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fueled generation.”
AEP is the first and largest U.S. utility to join the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the world’s first and North America’s only voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction and trading program. As a member of CCX, AEP committed to gradually reduce, avoid or sequester its GHG emissions to 6 percent below the average of its 1998 to 2001 emission levels by 2010. Through this commitment, AEP will reduce or offset approximately 46 million metric tons of GHG emissions by the end of the decade.
AEP is achieving its GHG reductions through a broad portfolio of actions, including power plant efficiency improvements, renewable generation such as wind and biomass co-firing, off-system GHG reduction projects, reforestation projects and potential purchase of emission credits through CCX.
AEP already has made efficiency improvements to its current generating fleet, retired inefficient gas-fired generation, enhanced the performance of its nuclear generation and expanded its use of renewable generation. The company is one of the larger generators and distributors of wind energy in the United States, operating 310 megawatts (MW) of wind generation in Texas and purchasing an additional 373 MW of wind generation from wind facilities in Oklahoma and Texas. AEP also has invested more than $25 million in terrestrial sequestration projects designed to conserve and reforest sensitive areas and offset more than 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the next 40 years.
Going forward, AEP is focused on developing and deploying new technology that will reduce the GHG emissions of future coal-fueled power plants. In August 2004, AEP was the first electric utility to announce plans to scale up Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology to build baseload, coal-fueled power plants with less environmental impact. AEP has initiated the regulatory approval process in Ohio and West Virginia to build one large, commercial-scale (629-MW) IGCC plant in each state. Both plants would be designed to accommodate retrofit of technology to capture CO2 emissions.
A strong supporter of research to address GHG emissions from coal-fueled power generation, AEP is a member of the FutureGen Alliance, which, in conjunction with the Department of Energy, will build the world’s first nearly emission-free plant to produce electricity and hydrogen from coal while capturing and permanently storing CO2 in geologic formations.
Additionally, AEP’s Mountaineer Plant in New Haven, W.Va., is the site of a $4.2-million carbon sequestration research project through which scientists from Battelle Memorial Institute are seeking to better understand the capability of deep saline aquifers for permanent and ecologically safe storage of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
The Carbon Disclosure Project is a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in New York. The group of investors is not a legal entity and the Carbon Disclosure Project has no authority to make any other statement on behalf of the participants. Full details on CDP, the CDP reports and the responses from corporations can be found at www.cdproject.net. The CDP4 report was written by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors www.innovestgroup.com
AEP 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 36,000 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 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). American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2006.