In an effort to provide cleaner energy solutions for its customers, Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power (AEP) is increasing capital investment in its regulated operations and new, renewable generation over the next three years.
AEP plans to invest $18.2 billion in capital from 2018 through 2020. Of that investment, 72% will be focused on transmission and distribution operations. The company also expects to invest $1.8 billion in new renewable generation during this period, including approximately $1.3 billion for competitive, contracted renewable projects.
“Today, we are solely focused on making the right investments to be the energy company of the future, including modern, smarter infrastructure; advanced technologies; and cleaner generation,” states Nicholas K. Akins, AEP’s chairman, president and CEO. “Investments in our distribution and transmission systems will provide significant benefits to customers as we rebuild and enhance aging infrastructure; add advanced, more efficient technologies; and create a more robust and resilient system. We are investing approximately $4.4 billion in the distribution systems at our regulated utility operating companies over the next three years and another $9 billion in our transmission businesses in the same period.”
The planned investments do not include the $4.5 billion Wind Catcher project in Oklahoma, which is dependent on regulatory approvals in 2018, the company notes.
“We are moving forward with the 2,000 MW Wind Catcher project, which will be the largest single wind farm in the nation when completed in 2020,” Akins adds. “Wind Catcher demonstrates the significant change in future generation opportunities. This $4.5 billion investment will deliver both cost-savings and clean energy to our customers in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. We have a pipeline of an additional 3,570 MW of wind and solar generation proposed to benefit customers across our system over the next seven years.”
AEP operates more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines delivering power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. It has approximately 33 GW of diverse generating capacity, including 4.2 GW of renewable energy.