AEP Receives All Necessary Approvals To Complete Separation Of Its Ohio Assets
American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has received all necessary approvals to separate its AEP Ohio-owned generation assets from its Ohio distribution and transmission operations and complete transfer of that generation to AEP's competitive generation company - AEP Generation Resources Inc. - and regulated affiliates Appalachian Power and Kentucky Power. The company received the final approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) this week and expects to complete transfer of those assets effective Dec. 31.
"The diligence of our employees and the cooperation of the affected state and federal commissions allowed us to execute our Ohio restructuring plan right on schedule, and we are well-positioned to operate two separate, sustainable businesses with our Ohio assets," said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP president and chief executive officer. "The majority of AEP's operations remain regulated, including our Ohio wires businesses, and we've consistently demonstrated our ability to successfully operate regulated utilities. The assets in the AEP Generation Resources portfolio are competitively positioned to perform well in the market. We expect our competitive business to be cash-flow positive."
The FERC accepted AEP's application to terminate the interconnection agreement, or pool, that exists among AEP's utilities in the Midwest; approved a new Power Coordination Agreement among Appalachian Power, Kentucky Power and Indiana Michigan Power; and approved other tariff and financing-related filings. AEP's applications for the generation transfers were approved by the FERC April 29.
Approximately 11,200 megawatts (MW) of AEP Ohio-owned generation will be transferred to AEP Generation Resources. AEP Ohio's two-thirds ownership of John E. Amos Plant Unit 3 (867 MW) will transfer to Appalachian Power, and 50 percent of Mitchell Plant (800 MW) will transfer to Kentucky Power. Following the transfers and expected retirements through 2015, AEP Generation Resources expects to own approximately 8,700 MW.
AEP received approval Dec. 13 from the West Virginia Public Service Commission (West Virginia PSC) for Appalachian Power to acquire AEP Ohio's ownership of Amos Plant Unit 3. The Virginia State Corporation Commission (Virginia SCC) approved the Amos Unit 3 acquisition July 31. The Kentucky Public Service Commission approved Kentucky Power's acquisition of 50 percent of the Mitchell Plant generation Oct. 7. AEP plans to make additional filings in the first quarter of 2014 to address a deferred decision from the West Virginia PSC on the merger of Wheeling Power into Appalachian Power and the acquisition of the remaining 50 percent of Mitchell Plant by Appalachian Power. The Virginia SCC approved the Wheeling Power merger but not the transfer of the Mitchell generation to Appalachian Power. Wheeling Power customers will continue to receive generation service through a FERC-approved agreement, which will transfer to AEP Generation Resources effective with the closing of corporate separation Dec. 31.
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 nearly 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.
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.
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