COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 18, 2008 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) today issued a request for proposals seeking long-term purchases of 65 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy resources to be operational by the end of 2010.
According to the RFP, proposals must rely on commercially proven technologies for renewable energy, including wind; solar photovoltaic; biomass firing or co-firing of agricultural crops and all energy crops; hydro (as certified by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute); coal mine methane; landfill gas; biogas digesters; and biomass firing or co-firing of crop residues, animal waste and woody waste.
A pre-bid conference call for potential bidders will be conducted May 1 with proposals to be submitted by May 19. RFP information can be found at http://www.SWEPCO.com/go/rfp
The RFP is part of AEP’s plan – announced in 2007 – to add 1,000 MW of new wind or renewable energy by 2011 as a component of the company’s comprehensive strategy to address its greenhouse gas emissions. The addition of renewable energy to AEP’s energy portfolio avoids an increase in greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise occur if AEP used traditional fossil generation to meet growing customer demand.
“Our commitment to add 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy to our generation portfolio, combined with our investment in offset programs, energy efficiency initiatives and new technology to reduce, capture and store carbon dioxide emissions, will help mitigate our greenhouse gas emissions while meeting increasing customer demand for electricity,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “There is no way to meet the growing electricity needs of our more than 5 million customers solely with additional renewable energy resources, but they are an important part of our overall strategy to help the world address global climate change.”
“These contracts will be contingent on continuation of the Production Tax Credit for renewable generation, as these credits help make renewable energy cost-competitive with other generation sources,” Morris said. “In order for wind and other renewable generation to reach its full potential in the United States, Congress needs to address the short-term nature and the constant uncertainty surrounding the production tax credits. The current system serves as a disincentive to investment and can increase the cost of renewable energy for utility customers.
“We also need to address, on a national level, the fact that our current transmission system cannot support significant growth in renewable generation. Without regulatory policies that promote additional transmission development, moving renewable power from where it can be produced to where it is needed by customers will be an ongoing challenge,” Morris said.
AEP issued another RFP for 100 MW of renewable energy to serve its Appalachian Power customers April 1 and has completed three purchases of long-term renewable energy capacity since the company made its 1,000-MW commitment in 2007. The three purchases, all of wind energy, added 275 MW of renewable capacity to serve AEP’s customers in Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee.
“We are taking a balanced approach to serving the growing electricity needs of our SWEPCO customers in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana,” said Venita McCellon-Allen, president and chief operating officer of SWEPCO. “Adding 65 megawatts of renewable generation helps supplement our plans to build an advanced ultra-supercritical coal-fueled power plant in Arkansas and additional natural gas-fueled power plants in Arkansas and Louisiana to fuel the significant growth in our region’s economy.”
AEP’s wind portfolio – prior to the recent RFPs – is 1,050 MW, which includes 310 MW of wind generation owned by AEP in Texas, long-term wind purchase agreements reached before the company’s 2007 commitment and agreements reached after the 2007 commitment.
SWEPCO serves more than 464,000 customers in three states including 112,000 in western Arkansas, 176,000 in Northwest Louisiana, and 176,000 in East and North Texas. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La.
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 the registrants 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 company’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; 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 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 impairing 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 market; 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 potential for new legislation 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; 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.