Two solar facilities, including the largest in the state, will provide renewable energy to customers

GAHANNA, Ohio, Sept. 27, 2018 – AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) company, today filed a proposal with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to support the development of 400 megawatts (MW) of new solar generation resources in Ohio by purchasing renewable power for AEP Ohio customers. The 300 MW and 100 MW facilities will be constructed in Ohio’s Appalachian region in Highland County.

“AEP Ohio customers have expressed their support for renewable generation resources built in Ohio,” said Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “AEP Ohio is taking a bold step to secure Ohio’s energy future by enabling the development of 400 MW of new solar generation, including the largest solar facility in the state. We have listened to our customers and are working each day to provide them with the energy products and services they want. The addition of these solar projects to Ohio’s generation mix will help ensure our customers are receiving their energy from a reliable, secure and diverse mix of resources.”

The 300 MW Highland Solar and 100 MW Willowbrook Solar projects were chosen following a competitive request for proposal process. They are being developed and will be owned by Hecate Energy Highland LLC and Willowbrook Solar LLC, respectively. Both projects are expected to be operational by the end of 2021, pending regulatory approvals.

Construction of these facilities is expected to support nearly 4,000 jobs in total and contribute $24 million in new state tax revenue and $6.7 million in local tax revenue. The developers have committed to securing building materials from Ohio manufacturers, and military veterans will be given hiring preference for construction-related jobs.

AEP Ohio has secured two 20-year Renewable Energy Purchase Agreements (REPAs) for the power produced at these facilities. Over the life of these fixed-price agreements, it is anticipated that customers will see approximately $200 million in savings compared with the projected cost of power in the future.

All AEP Ohio customers will share in the benefits of these new renewable generation resources. A residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will see a 28-cent-per-month increase in their electric bill.

A recent survey of AEP Ohio customers revealed overwhelming support for the use of more renewable energy in Ohio. Nearly three-quarters of residential customers said they were willing to support renewable energy through increased bills. Customers also indicated that they feel it is important for that energy to be produced in Ohio, with 89 percent of residential and 75 percent of small commercial customers surveyed indicating they feel it is at least “moderately important” that AEP Ohio makes great use of renewable energy produced in Ohio. 

AEP Ohio committed to pursuing 900 MW of renewable generation resources, built in Ohio, in a 2016 agreement approved by the PUCO and a diverse group of stakeholders. This commitment was supported with the PUCO’s approval of AEP Ohio’s Electric Security Plan earlier this year.

The PUCO must evaluate the proposal and issue a decision before construction can begin.

About AEP Ohio

AEP Ohio delivers electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of AEP’s subsidiary Ohio Power Co. in Ohio. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. News and information about AEP Ohio can be found at AEPOhio.com

American Electric Power based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities 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 also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.

Scott Blake

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