- American Electric Power (AEP) is targeting an annual growth rate of 4% to 6% by diversifying its generation fleet, retiring coal-fired plants, and investing in transmission infrastructure, according to CEO Nicholas K. Akins.
- AEP will respond to increased EPA limits on greenhouse gas emissions and low natural gas prices by retiring 6,600 megawatts of coal plant capacity by 2016.
- After completing its biggest set of transmission projects ever in 2013, AEP will invest about $4 billion per year from 2014 through 2016, largely in transmission, and beyond that will continue to put over $1.5 billion per year in transmission infrastructure.
AEP’s 2013 transmission project investments were largely in Texas competitive renewable energy zone (CREZ) lines that will primarily deliver wind-generated electricity from the windy Panhandle and West Texas regions to load centers like Dallas and Houston.
AEP cut its CO2 emissions by 21% between 2005 and 2013, which was more than the 17% by 2020 target set in President Obama's Climate Action Plan, according to Akins.
AEP has also cut sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions over 80% since 1990 but, offering a hint of why divesting coal-fired power is a move toward profitability, Akins said AEP was able to cut its mercury emissions only 60% since 2001, significantly short of the EPA-required 90% cut.