American Electric Power plans to invest $18.2 billion from 2018 through 2020, with most of the investment, 72%, in its transmission and distribution operations.
AEP also expects to invest $1.8 billion in renewable generation, including about $1.3 billion in competitive, contracted renewable energy projects.
- The utility said it has a 3,570 MW pipeline of wind and solar projects over the next seven years, not including a 2,000 MW wind project that is awaiting regulatory approval.
AEP last Friday laid out an investment plan that is heavily weighted toward transmission and distribution assets, but also includes a relatively large renewable energy investment.
AEP’s planned $18.2 billion T&D investment breaks down to about $4.4 billion in distribution systems and $9 billion in transmission over the next three years. By 2020, the company expects its earnings attributable to its Transmission Holding Co. business will grow to a projected 96 to 99 cents per share, up from 16 cents per share in 2013.
The company is also looking at a robust renewable energy program that builds on its $4.5 billion Wind Catcher project in Oklahoma that is awaiting regulatory approvals in 2018.In addition to Wind Catcher, AEP plans to invest $1.8 billion in renewable energy and say it has a 3,570 MW pipeline of wind and solar projects.
“Wind Catcher demonstrates the significant change in future generation opportunities. This $4.5 billion investment will deliver both cost savings and clean energy to our customers in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas,” Nicholas Akins, AEP’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.
But a controversial and high-profile solar trade case could hurt the utility's investment in that resource. AEP will likely lean heavily on wind for its renewables investment, depending on the severity of tariffs levied in the trade case.