AEP Adds Solar to Renewable Portfolio15 June, 2009
COLUMBUS, Ohio – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), through its AEP Ohio unit, has signed a long-term power purchase agreement to purchase all the output of a 10.08-megawatt (MW) solar energy facility to be built in Ohio.
Through the 20-year agreement signed with Wyandot Solar LLC, a subsidiary of juwi solar Inc., AEP Ohio will purchase all of the output and renewable energy credits from the Wyandot Solar facility to be built in Salem Township, Wyandot County, Ohio. Construction of the solar facility is expected to begin in November, and commercial operation is expected by mid-summer 2010. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The agreement is AEP’s first for commercial solar energy in the company’s growing renewable portfolio. AEP’s wind energy portfolio currently is 1,783 MW, including 310 MW of wind generation owned and operated by AEP in Texas and 1,473 MW of wind energy acquired through long-term power purchase agreements. On June 1, AEP issued a request for proposals seeking long-term purchases of up to 1,100 MW of additional renewable energy resources as part of the company’s goal to add 2,000 MW of new wind or other renewable energy by the end of 2011. The goal is a component of the company’s strategy to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
“This is our first agreement with a utility-scale solar facility, although we do have small solar installations on two of our buildings in Ohio,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Our growing renewable portfolio has significantly diversified our fuel mix, helping us to meet our customers’ energy needs while reducing our environmental impact.”
Morris noted that the Wyandot Solar facility will be built on property near an AEP substation.
“But that isn’t typical,” Morris said. “Most often, areas best suited for large-scale wind or solar energy production are in remote, sparsely populated regions far from metropolitan areas in need of energy. The challenge is delivering that renewable energy from areas where it can be most efficiently produced to areas where it is needed most. AEP continues to advocate the development of a true national interstate transmission system to better integrate renewables into the nation’s energy mix and make the best use of existing power generation resources. We have multiple transmission projects in the works that represent an important first step toward this goal, and we continue to work with others to make it happen.”
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.