1/9/2007

SIMMS NAMED TO LEAD AEP HYDRO GENERATION OPERATIONS

ROANOKE, Va., Jan. 8, 2007 – Frank Simms, who has been directing the process for the federal relicensing of the Smith Mountain Pumped Storage Project, has been named to head up operations of all hydroelectric facilities for American Electric Power (AEP), the parent company of Appalachian Power.

Simms was named plant manager – hydro operations, with managerial responsibility for operation of all AEP hydro generating facilities, both pumped-storage and run-of-river. Bill Vineyard, AEP director – Region 3 Cycling Generating Assets, announced the appointment at AEP corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

Simms will continue to be located in Roanoke. He succeeds Jim Fariss who retired from the company this month.

In 2003, Simms moved to Roanoke as hydro support manager. In that role, he has been the primary contact for Appalachian Power’s Smith Mountain Project licensing efforts. He joined the AEP System in July 1983 in the Columbus-based Civil Engineering group and transferred to the hydro section in 1987.  

Simms holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Toledo and is a licensed Professional Engineer in both Ohio and Virginia.

“Frank’s new role offers unique challenges because of the number and remote locations of our hydro facilities,” Vineyard commented. “In addition, we are in the midst of relicensing activities for our Smith Mountain facility, due in 2008, and Claytor, which is due in 2009. These are detailed activities that require working with numerous publics including regulators, elected officials and lake neighbors.”

Simms said, “I am pleased with the prospects of this new position and the trust the company placed in me. I’m also excited that Roanoke and southwestern Virginia will continue to be my home.”

Simms said his new position will not affect the current licensing process at the company’s two largest hydro projects. “This should have no effect at all on our current efforts,” he said. “All of our key company participants will continue to remain part of activities with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other interested parties in Virginia.”

AEP owns and operates 17 hydro facilities in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia, with total generating capacity of 884 megawatts. In addition to the Smith Mountain and Claytor projects, Appalachian operates generating dams on the New, James and Roanoke Rivers in southwestern Virginia.

Appalachian Power provides electricity to 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.  It serves more than 500,000 customers in southwestern Virginia.  It is a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), 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. 


John Shepelwich
Manager, State Corporate Communications
(540) 985-2968
jeshepelwich@AEP.com

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