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Industry News

AEP's Clean Energy Strategic Vision Plans to Reduce Carbon Emissions 80 Percent from 2000 levels by 2050

LCG, February 8, 2018--American Electric Power (AEP) Monday released a report outlining the company's strategy for a clean energy future. The strategy includes new carbon dioxide emission reduction goals and investments in renewable resources and advanced technologies to enhance the efficiency of the power grid.

AEP's new intermediate goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from AEP generating facilities by 60 percent from 2000 levels by 2030. In the longer term, AEP anticipates reducing carbon dioxide emissions from AEP generating facilities by 80 percent from 2000 levels by 2050. The company already has cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 44 percent since 2000.

"AEP is focused on modernizing the power grid, expanding renewable energy resources and delivering cost-effective, reliable energy to our customers," said AEP's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Our customers want us to partner with them to provide cleaner energy and new technologies, while continuing to provide reliable, affordable energy. Our investors want us to protect their investment in our company, deliver attractive returns and manage climate-related risk. This long-term strategy allows us to do both."

AEP's report states that a combination of factors provides the company confidence in its ability to achieve these reductions, including an aging coal fleet, resource plans that are increasingly more diverse, its growing investments in clean energy and the potential of new and emerging technologies to make the power system more efficient, decentralized, fully integrated and digitized.

AEP's generation fleet and carbon dioxide emissions have already changed significantly since the turn of this century. From 2000 to 2016, AEP's carbon dioxide emissions declined 44 percent. From 2011 to mid-2016, AEP retired more than 7,200 MW of coal-fueled generating capacity. Furthermore, the addition of renewable generation and low natural gas prices resulted in coal-fueled generating units operating less frequently and generating less power and emissions. In addition, in early 2017, AEP completed the sale of four fossil-fueled plants totaling approximately 5,300 MW, which will further decrease AEP's carbon dioxide emissions. In 2017, coal represented 47 percent of AEP's generating capacity, compared with 70 percent in 2005. The percentage of AEP's generating resources fueled by coal will continue to decline.

AEP expects to achieve its carbon dioxide emission reductions through a variety of actions, including investments in renewable generation and advanced technologies; investment in transmission and distribution systems to enhance efficiency; increased use of natural gas generation; and expanded demand response and energy efficiency programs.

AEP's resource plans include adding 3,065 MW of solar generation, 5,295 MW of wind generation and 1,407 MW of natural gas fueled generation to the portfolio serving its regulated utility customers by 2030. AEP's largest planned renewable energy investment is the $4.5 billion, 2,000-MW Wind Catcher Energy Connection project in Oklahoma. If approved, Wind Catcher will be the largest contiguous wind farm in the U.S.

AEP is also investing in renewable energy in competitive markets. Between 2018 and 2020, the company plans to invest approximately $1.2 billion in contracted renewables and renewables integrated with energy storage.

To enhance the efficiency and resiliency of the energy delivery system, AEP's strategy includes plans to invest nearly $13 billion over the next three years in its transmission and distribution system.
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