SHREVEPORT, La., June 17, 2010 – Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), an operating unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), has begun commercial operation of the new J. Lamar Stall Unit at Arsenal Hill in Shreveport.
SWEPCO’s first combined-cycle natural gas unit was declared in commercial operation June 16, 2010.
“This is a significant addition of very efficient generation to help meet the growing energy needs of SWEPCO customers in the region,” said Paul Chodak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer.
The 508-megawatt (MW) unit will help meet additional electricity demand growth this year and beyond for SWEPCO customers in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. The Stall Unit was strategically placed at the Arsenal Hill location to support SWEPCO’s electric system and power needs in the region, and to access existing natural gas pipelines and electric transmission lines.
Combined-cycle plants generate electricity more efficiently and consume less fuel per kilowatt-hour of output than conventional gas-fueled generators. The Stall Unit generates electricity with a gas-fueled turbine and recovers exhaust heat from that process to produce additional electricity in a steam turbine.
The Stall Unit provided up to 700 construction jobs at the peak of employment in September 2009 and will have 11 permanent positions. Construction on the project began in March 2008. JLSP, a joint venture of Sargent & Lundy engineering and TIC-The Industrial Company, was the construction contractor.
SWEPCO announced the Stall Unit as part of its new generation plans May 31, 2006. The plans also included peaking generation from the 300-MW Harry D. Mattison Power Plant, which came on line in 2007, and 440 MW of base load generation from the John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant, currently under construction near Fulton, Ark. As an intermediate load facility, the Stall Unit will provide power that is quickly available as customers’ usage increases or decreases between base load and peak load.
The Stall Unit is located on eight acres of company property adjacent to SWEPCO’s Arsenal Hill Power Plant, the oldest plant in the system, where the first unit came on line in 1926. The existing natural gas-fueled Arsenal Hill Unit 5 was placed in service in 1960 and has an output of 110 MW. Carl Handley is the plant manager for Stall and Arsenal Hill.
The new facility is named for J. Lamar Stall, who was president and chief executive officer of SWEPCO from 1971-1983. A Louisiana native and graduate of Louisiana Tech University, Stall worked for SWEPCO for 37 years. He lives in Shreveport.
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 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 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: the economic climate and growth in, or contraction within, AEP’s service territory and changes in market demand and demographic patterns; inflationary or deflationary 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 finance new capital projects and refinance existing debt at attractive rates; the availability and cost of funds to finance working capital and capital needs, particularly during periods when the time lag between incurring costs and recovery is long and the costs are material; electric load and customer growth; weather conditions, including storms, and AEP’s ability to recover significant storm restoration costs through applicable rate mechanisms; available sources and costs of, and transportation for, fuels and the creditworthiness and performance of fuel suppliers and transporters; availability of necessary generating capacity and the performance of AEP’s generating plants; AEP’s ability to recover Indiana Michigan Power’s Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 restoration costs through warranty, insurance and the regulatory process; 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 Turk Plant, and transmission line facilities (including the ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to recover those costs (including the costs of projects that are cancelled) 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 or additional regulation of flyash and similar combustion products that could impact the continued operation and cost recovery of AEP’s plants; 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 AEP’s dispute with Bank of America); AEP’s ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; 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 implementation of electric security plans and related regulation in Ohio and the allocation of costs within regional transmission organizations, including PJM and SPP; 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 and the impact on future funding requirements; prices and demand for power that AEP generates and sells at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to new, developing or alternative sources of generation; and other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes and other catastrophic events.