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AEP Appalachian subsidiary plans to buy 175-megawatt Ohio wind farm

AEP Appalachian subsidiary plans to buy 175-megawatt Ohio wind farm

An American Electric Power Company Inc. subsidiary wants to buy an Ohio wind farm.

Appalachian Power plans to buy the Hardin Wind Farm, a 175-megawatt, 70-turbine project being developed by Chicago-based Invenergy LLC in Hardin County, in northwestern Ohio.

The company has 1 million customers in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee; it is the equivalent of AEP Ohio, which serves more than 1.4 million electric customers in Ohio.

Parent company AEP (NYSE:AEP) is diversifying its power portfolio, closing or selling off its coal plants. In Ohio, AEP still is seeking to develop wind and solar power projects totaling 900 megawatts.

Wind power’s declining costs and the extension of a federal tax credit “make the purchase of these wind facilities beneficial for customers, improve Appalachian’s fuel diversity, and increase the company’s flexibility to develop and offer renewable products for its customers,” Appalachian Power said in a statement.

It also plans to buy a 50-megawatt facility in West Virginia called Beech Ridge, which is also under development by Invenergy. Appalachian Power has 375 megawatts of wind-powered generation on its books now, though it buys that power through long-term agreements instead of outright owning them like it will for Hardin and Beech Ridge.

The local utility started the process that led to it buying the two projects last January, when it began a competitive bid process, according to its new regulatory filing in West Virginia. Appalachian Power stipulated that its project be based in Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia or Virginia, and it received 39 total proposals.

The Hardin wind farm has been an idea since 2009, when it was first filed to state regulators. Invenergy is North America’s biggest independent, privately held renewable energy company, owning and operating about 4,000 megawatts of wind power and 3,000 megawatts of natural gas plants.



Source: Columbus Business First



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