COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 12, 2008 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) today dedicated a new 83,500-square-foot facility in the Village of New Albany that houses the company’s electricity transmission control operations.
AEP’s new transmission operations center addresses federal government and industry requirements and recommendations resulting from the September 2001 terrorist attacks, the Northeast blackout of August 2003 and enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
“This new facility represents a significant investment in our transmission system and shows our commitment to ensuring transmission reliability,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The center exemplifies AEP’s leadership in developing, demonstrating and deploying innovative technologies that will secure and protect infrastructures that are critical to our nation’s electricity delivery system.”
The operations center performs real-time monitoring of the transmission grid and communicates with the regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and six AEP transmission dispatching centers within the company’s 11-state service territory.
The center has layers of physical security and monitoring and access-control systems to ensure safety and reliability. It was built to withstand an F4 tornado and features system redundancies.
The new facility also is a candidate for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED focuses on sustainable site development, energy efficiency, water savings and selection of “green” materials and resources.
Construction of the center started in 2006, and operations began there two months ago with approximately 100 employees who transferred from AEP’s former operations center in downtown Columbus. That location is now a backup operations center and training facility.
Speaking at today’s dedication ceremony in addition to AEP’s Morris were Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members Jon Wellinghoff and Philip Moeller; Rick Sergel, president and chief executive officer of the North American Electric Reliability Corp.; Terry Boston, president and chief executive officer of PJM Interconnection, the RTO in which AEP’s eastern footprint is located; and Nancy Ferguson, mayor of the Village of New Albany.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 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 39,000-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 Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.
Pat D. Hemlepp
Director, Corporate Media Relations