COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), has entered into a participation agreement with Turning Point Solar LLC, a joint venture of Agile Energy Inc. and New Harvest Ventures, to cooperate on the development of one of the largest solar generating facility east of the Mississippi River.
The 49.9-megawatt (MW) commercial solar facility will be built on approximately 750 acres of reclaimed land once mined for coal in Noble County, 20 miles southeast of Zanesville, Ohio. Construction and commercial operation of the facility will be phased in over three years with construction expected to begin in the summer of 2012 and finishing in 2015.
"When we originally announced this project last year, we were proud to play an instrumental role in helping bring new jobs to Ohio while advancing renewable energy technologies in the Midwest," said Joe Hamrock, president and chief operating officer for AEP Ohio. "Today, that pride continues as we move a significant step closer to bringing this project on line. Taking the lead on these types of projects not only allows AEP Ohio to meet the state's renewable energy requirements, it also benefits Ohio through new development, job creation and economic growth."
According to Glen Davis, CEO of Agile Energy of San Francisco, one of the co-developers of the project, more than 600 direct jobs will be created, including approximately 300 during the construction and installation phase of the project.
Isofoton, a leading Spanish-based solar energy technology company, will supply solar modules for the Turning Point Solar development. As part of the project moving forward, the company has agreed to base its North American manufacturing facility in Ohio, and projects the facility will employ up to 330 when fully operational. Approximately 250,000 photovoltaic panels will be needed to build the plant.
In October 2010, AEP Ohio and Turning Point Solar entered into a memorandum of understanding. The agreement announced today formalizes the parties' intentions to work toward the successful completion of what will be Ohio's largest solar installation using solar modules made in Ohio. AEP Ohio intends to invest $20 million in the development of the project. The project was filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for approval on Friday, July 1, as part of the company's Electric Security Plan. Once built, AEP Ohio will be solely responsible for the operation and maintenance of the solar generating facility.
Ohio Substitute Senate Bill 221 requires that AEP Ohio supply 0.06 percent of its load in 2012 with generation from solar resources, 0.09 percent in 2013, and 0.12 percent in 2014. The benchmark requirements ramp up annually to a total of 0.5 percent by the end of 2024. AEP Ohio already has met the benchmarks set for 2010 and 2011 through its long-term purchase power agreement for solar energy from the 10.08-MW Wyandot Solar facility in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power Company and Ohio Power Company in Ohio, and Wheeling Power Company in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. 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 www.aepohio.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.
SOURCE AEP Ohio