COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to separate its Ohio generating assets from its Ohio distribution and transmission operations and transfer these assets to a competitive generation company and regulated affiliates. AEP is awaiting FERC approval of additional transactional agreements between AEP affiliates.
"With these approvals, we reached another milestone in the transition to full electricity competition in Ohio. The FERC decisions allow us to move forward with the ownership transfer of our Ohio generation-related assets into a separate unregulated generation company and to other AEP operating companies," said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP president and chief executive officer. "We anticipate decisions from FERC on our other related filings soon and expect to fully separate our Ohio generation from our Ohio utility operations at the end of this year.
"We will continue to work with regulators in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia to seek the additional approvals necessary to transfer ownership of the Mitchell Plant and the AEP Ohio-owned share of the Amos Plant to Appalachian Power and Kentucky Power to help satisfy their existing and long-term generation requirements," Akins said.
The FERC's April 29 decision approved the transfer of AEP Ohio-owned generation to a new wholly owned company – AEP Generation Resources Inc. The FERC also approved further transfer of AEP Ohio's two-thirds ownership (867 MW) in John E. Amos Plant Unit 3 (1,300 MW) and ownership of 800 MW of the 1,600-MW generating capacity of Mitchell Plant to Appalachian Power as well as ownership transfer of the remaining 800 MW of Mitchell Plant to Kentucky Power.
Additionally, the FERC approved merging AEP's Wheeling Power utility into Appalachian Power.
AEP's application to terminate the interconnection agreement, or pool, that exists among AEP's utilities in the Midwest and for approval of a new Power Coordination Agreement among Appalachian Power, Kentucky Power and Indiana Michigan Power remains pending before the FERC, along with other tariff filings related to corporate separation. AEP anticipates implementing corporate separation and the other items in the related filings by Dec. 31, 2013.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5.3 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 40,000-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.
This report made by American Electric Power and its Registrant Subsidiaries contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although AEP and each of its Registrant Subsidiaries believe that their expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are: the economic climate, growth or contraction within and changes in market demand and demographic patterns in AEP's service territory; inflationary or deflationary interest rate trends; volatility in the financial markets, particularly developments affecting the availability of capital on reasonable terms and developments impairing AEP's ability to finance new capital projects and refinance existing debt at attractive rates; the availability and cost of funds to finance working capital and capital needs, particularly during periods when the time lag between incurring costs and recovery is long and the costs are material; electric load, customer growth and the impact of retail competition, particularly in Ohio; weather conditions, including storms and drought conditions, and AEP's ability to recover significant storm restoration costs through applicable rate mechanisms; available sources and costs of, and transportation for, fuels and the creditworthiness and performance of fuel suppliers and transporters; availability of necessary generating capacity and the performance of AEP's generating plants; AEP's ability to recover increases in fuel and other energy costs through regulated or competitive electric rates; AEP's ability to build or acquire generating capacity and transmission lines and facilities (including the ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to recover those costs (including the costs of projects that are cancelled) through applicable rate cases or competitive rates; new legislation, litigation and government regulation, including oversight of nuclear generation, energy commodity trading and new or heightened requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances, or additional regulation of fly ash and similar combustion products that could impact the continued operation and cost recovery of AEP's plants and related assets; evolving public perception of the risks associated with fuels used before, during and after the generation of electricity, including nuclear fuel; a reduction in the federal statutory tax rate that could result in an accelerated return of deferred federal income taxes to customers; timing and resolution of pending and future rate cases, negotiations and other regulatory decisions, including rate or other recovery of new investments in generation, distribution and transmission service and environmental compliance; resolution of litigation; AEP's ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; AEP's ability to develop and execute a strategy based on a view regarding prices of electricity, coal, natural gas and other energy-related commodities; prices and demand for power that AEP generates and sells at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to new, developing or alternative sources of generation; AEP's ability to recover through rates or market prices any remaining unrecovered investment in generating units that may be retired before the end of their previously projected useful lives; volatility and changes in markets for electricity, coal, natural gas and other energy-related commodities; changes in utility regulation, including the implementation of Electric Security Plans and the transition to market and expected legal separation for generation in Ohio and the allocation of costs within regional transmission organizations, including PJM and SPP; AEP's ability to successfully manage negotiations with stakeholders and obtain regulatory approval to terminate the Interconnection Agreement; changes in the creditworthiness of the counterparties with whom AEP has contractual arrangements, including participants in the energy trading market; actions of rating agencies, including changes in the ratings of AEP debt; the impact of volatility in the capital markets on the value of the investments held by AEP's pension, other postretirement benefit plans, captive insurance entity and nuclear decommissioning trust and the impact on future funding requirements; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; and other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes, cyber security threats and other catastrophic events.
SOURCE American Electric Power