COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) joined today with Turning Point Solar LLC, a joint venture of Agile Energy Inc. and New Harvest Power, to announce the largest commercial solar development east of the Rockies.
Turning Point will develop a 49.9-megawatt (MW) solar generating facility on approximately 500 acres in southeastern Ohio. The project is expected to bring approximately 600 permanent and construction jobs to Ohio through Turning Point's negotiations with Prius and Isofoton, solar equipment manufacturers from Spain, to supply solar modules and solar trackers for the project from facilities constructed in the state. It is estimated that 300 jobs would be new, permanent positions created at those facilities, while the remaining 300 jobs would be related to construction. AEP Ohio will negotiate a long-term power purchase agreement for the energy from the project.
"We are proud to play an instrumental role in bringing new jobs to Ohio while advancing renewable energy technologies in the Midwest," said Joe Hamrock, president and chief operating officer for AEP Ohio. "Our continued leadership in supporting the development of in-state solar projects leverages Ohio's renewable energy requirements in the right way – generating new investment in our state and creating new, permanent manufacturing jobs to help grow our economy."
AEP Ohio entered into a memorandum of understanding to negotiate a long-term power purchase agreement for solar energy with Turning Point Solar. If executed as expected, AEP Ohio would purchase through a 20-year agreement all of the output, including renewable energy credits, from the 49.9-MW solar generating facility to be located in southeastern Ohio, on approximately 500 acres including reclaimed lands owned by AEP Ohio adjacent to The Wilds, one of the largest conservation centers in North America.
Construction and commercial operation of the solar generating facility will be phased in over three years. Approximately 20 MW is expected to be in commercial operation by late 2012. An additional 15 MW will be added by the end of 2013 and the remaining 14.9 MW will be online by the end of 2014. Terms of the power purchase agreement were not disclosed for competitive reasons.
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.
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 American Electric Power