Regulators OK AEP Ohio’s Plan To Expand Wind, Solar

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AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (AEP) company, has received approval of its Electric Security Plan (ESP) from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

The ESP allows AEP Ohio to expand access to electric vehicle (EV) charging and renewable generation while continuing to enhance distribution grid reliability. The ESP also offers customers rate stability through 2024. More than a dozen groups had signed onto the agreement, the company says.

“Our customers want reliability and access to advanced technologies, such as EV charging stations, microgrids and renewable energy resources,” states Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio’s president and chief operating officer. “Our plan allows us to bring these services, which also will support economic development in Ohio, to customers across the state. The ESP enables us to continue our investments in the electric grid to provide reliable power and help advance the new technologies and cleaner energy that our customers want.”

As a result of the ESP, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month will see an average bill increase of less than $0.50/month.

A program to expand EV charging station availability will be created as part of the Smart Columbus initiative. The project creates a rebate incentive program for the hardware, network services and installation of charging infrastructure for up to 300 Level 2 charging stations and 75 DC fast-charging stations. The $10 million program offers rebates for site owners to install charging stations, with 10% of the stations to be located in low-income areas. Site owners can apply to AEP Ohio to recoup a portion of their initial construction costs.

Expansion of wind and solar resources in the state is also supported by the ESP. AEP Ohio has committed to develop 400 MW of solar and 500 MW of wind power in Ohio. The approved ESP provides a method for AEP Ohio to request approval from the PUCO for the development of new renewable resources. The ESP also allows for some, or all, of that power to be purchased through a bilateral contract with a customer.

“Companies are increasingly evaluating the availability of renewable energy when they are looking to locate or expand their business. Having access to renewable resources helps make Ohio more attractive to businesses,” Sloat notes.

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