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AEP Employee and Retiree Trail Ride scheduled for August

The annual AEP Employee and Retiree Trail Ride features approximately 30 miles of trails available to riders at AEP ReCreation Land Equine Activity Area.

(Story by Jeff Rennie)

McCONNELSVILLE, Ohio — AEP employees and retirees are invited to join in a unique outdoor experience.

The 17th annual AEP Employee and Retiree Trail Ride at AEP’s ReCreation Land Equine Activity Area will take place Aug. 9 and 10 at the site located about seven miles north of McConnelsville, at 3400 East State Route 78. Participants must bring their own horse.

The ride kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9. Riders should pack a trail lunch. A potluck dinner is scheduled Saturday night with meat for grilling provided by AEP.

Anne Lindimore, administrative associate at the Muskingum River Plant, coordinates the outing.

“Save the weekend of August 9 for a good time with great people,” said Lindimore. “Hope to see you here!”

Approximately 30 miles of trails are available to riders. Many are well shaded and hilly with shallow creek crossings, said Lindimore. The trails were developed and are maintained in a partnership between AEP and the Ohio Horseman’s Council. Guides are available on Saturday and Sunday.

Free camping, firewood and horse water is provided. No electricity is available at the campsite, but there are Port-O-Lets and the area has tie lines and picnic tables. The trailhead staging area can accommodate 100 horse trailers.

A permit is required to use the Equine Activity Area, which is open to the public, and is available free online at

For more information, contact Lindimore at (direct dial, work) 740-984-3487, or

AEP Texas employees honored with Customer Service awards for efforts in the Eagle Ford Shale development

(Story by Omar Lopez)

Four AEP Texas employees were recently recognized with Customer Service awards by Bradley Lenz, director, Economic and Business Development, and Wade Smith, AEP Texas president and chief operating officer. Julio Reyes, vice president of External Affairs, also attended the ceremony.

Four employees were recently honored with Customer Service awards. Shown here (left to right) are: Ken Griffin, Patrick King, Bob Lager and Ricky Miller. Looking on at right is Bradley Lenz, director, Economic and Business Development..

Ken Griffin, external affairs manager, and Patrick King, customer services senior account manager, both from the Corpus Christi District; and Ricky Miller, customer services account manager, and Bob Lager, senior engineer, both of the Abilene District, were commended for their work with Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., one of the company’s customers in the Eagle Ford Shale development.

With the help of the AEP Texas team, Energy Transfer, L.P., was able to complete the construction of the 570-mile Lone Star West Texas Gateway NGL Pipeline that serves the Permian Basin area and the Eagle Ford Shale area. The pipeline moves through the AEP Texas service territory.


PSO, food banks to ‘Shine A Light’ on neighbors in need

(Story by Ed Bettinger)

TULSA — Although Oklahoma’s economy has improved and the job count is growing, many Oklahomans struggle each day to feed their families. Oklahoma ranks among the top five states in the nation in the number of people who are hungry. More than 675,000 Oklahomans wake each day wondering where their next meal will come from. More than 40 percent of Oklahomans who rely on food pantries for basic groceries report they regularly have to choose between paying their utility bills and feeding their families.


Although there is no single solution to fix this problem, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) Consumer Programs has developed the “Shine A Light” project to help brighten the lives of those in need. It can also save you some money and energy.

The focus of the Shine A Light Project is to help Oklahoma families who are served by food pantries avoid having to choose between paying their utility bills and putting food on the table.

“We want to help, so we developed our Shine A Light Project in partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to help families who need to stretch their household budget,” said Dawn Casey, PSO Energy Efficiency & Consumer Programs coordinator.

How Shine A Light Works

For each PSO-discounted CFL or LED light purchased at a participating Shine A Light retailer through June, PSO will donate the same item to its food bank partners – up to 75,000 bulbs – to help the families save energy. Those savings can then be applied to other purposes, including the food bill.

The high-efficiency lights will be distributed to food pantry customers. The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma will distribute the lights to 122 food pantries within PSO’s service territory, who will then distribute to their customers and agencies like John 3:16 Family Ministry, Neighbor for Neighbor, First Baptist Church and Hospice of Green Country.

The Regional Food Bank will distribute to 37 food pantries within PSO’s service territory, who will then distribute to their customers, like the Lawton Food Bank, First Baptist Church of Chickasha, Duncan Rescue Mission, etc.

To support this effort and receive a discount on the purchase of long-lasting, energy-efficient lights, employees can visit one of PSO’s participating retailers, such as Lowe’s, Walmart, Home Depot or Dollar Tree, and look for lights with the PSO “Savings that Shine” sticker. The discount will be rung up at the cash register when you check out.

The PSO discounts range from $1 to $7 per bulb, depending on the type purchased.

For a limited time, select LEDs are priced at around $6 at Home Depot.

Go to to find a participating retailer near you.

ENERGY STAR®-certified CFLs use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, saving you $40 to $135 in energy bills. They also last 10 to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

The ENERGY STAR®-certified CFLS also provide the same brightness (lumens) with less energy (watts).

About the Community Food Banks

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is the largest private hunger-relief organization in the eastern part of the state, providing more than 275,000 meals each week through 450 partner programs in 24 counties. In 2013, the organization distributed more than 17.1 million pounds of food.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the largest private hunger-relief organization in the state. In 2013, it distributed 47.9 million pounds of food and product through its network of more than 1,000 partner agencies and schools throughout 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. Through the Regional Food Bank more than 90,000 people are fed each week – one-third of whom are children.


April/May Obituaries

AEP River Operations

Mary Petry, 64, AEP River Operations-Paducah, died May 24,

AEP Service Corporation

Charles Adkinson, 66, Lane Aviation Group, died May 17.

Donald Dick, 80, retired, AEP Headquarters, died April 27.

Mary Garner, 86, retired, AEP Headquarters, died May 2.

Lucille Hampton, 91, retired, Rockefeller Center, died May 10.

Charles Hurme, 101, retired, Rockefeller Center, died May 8.

Norbert Knies, 86, retired, AEP Headquarters, died May 14.

Appalachian Power

Richard Bowman, 77, retired, Bluefield Office, died May 3.

Thomas Carter, 70, retired, Abingdon Service Center, died May 7.

Susan Caywood, 68, Roanoke Main Office, died May 4.

Robert Hickel, 89, retired, Sporn Plant, died May 6.

Diana Jeffries, 50, North Charleston Service Center, died May 30.

William Moore, 85, retired, Roanoke Main Office, died April 27.

Lawrence Redden, 70, retired, Roanoke Service Building, died April 30.

Thomas Ruble, 76, retired, Bb&T Building, died May 28. 

Elizabeth Scott, 83, retired, Beckley Service Center, died April 25.

Sheldon Stanley II, 67, Milton Service Center, died April 30.

Thomas Templeton, 95, retired, Huntington Office, died May 14.

Willis Winebrenner Jr., 92, retired, Glasgow Service Center, died April 25.

Onsbie Yates, 76, retired, Grundy Service Center, died May 25.

Columbus Southern Power

Geary Foster, 67, Minerva Annex, died May 3.

Jackie Sublett, 71, Conesville Plant, died April 25.

Ruthann Ward, 87, retired, 850 Tech Center, died May 13.

Indiana Michigan Power

Michael Magsamen, 62, One Summit Square, died May 18.

Marvin Steinmetz, 84, retired, Tanners Creek Plant, died May 25.

John Thigpen, 88, retired, South Bend Service Center, died May 2.

Robert Zollinger, 82, retired, Spy Run Service Center, died May 27.

Ohio Power

Billy Cubbison, 82, retired, Central Ohio Coal Company, died May 10.

Charles Cuddihy, 68, retired, Cardinal Plant, died April 8.

Earl Boggess, 86, retired, Lancaster Office Building, died May 4.

Duane Funk, 82, retired, Muskingum River Plant, died April 18.

Dale Grace, 90, retired, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died May 1.

David Lough, 72, retired, Kammer Plant, died May 1.

Richard McKee, 93, retired, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died May 2.

Jon Morgenstern, 66, Muskingum River Plant, died May 3.

Frank Naistetler, 96, retired, Tiffin Service Center, died April 19.

Marjorie Ott, 91, retired, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died May 8.

Lester Sorrell, 60, Lancaster Service Building, died May 2.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

William Johnson, 89, retired, Tulsa General Office, died April 19.

Calvin Pendley, 99, retired, Tulsa General Office, died May 10.

Southwestern Electric Power

Margaret Bateman, 90, retired, Shreveport General Office, died May 13.

Dan Fried, 78, retired, Shreveport General Office, died May 26.

James Harris, 83, retired, Shreveport General Office, died May 16.

Edward Tudor, 82, retired, Shreveport General Office, died May 17.

Texas Central

William Brinsdon, 87, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died May 10.

Gilberto Chapa, 90, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died May 17.

Apolinar Gracida Jr., 65, Harlingen Service Center, died May 11.

Wade Hunter, 82, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died May 9.

Clayton Kirk, 85, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died May 20.

C. Stice, 76, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died May 2.

Texas North

Randel Wilson Jr., 77, retired, Abilene General Office, died April 28.


Rodney Cummings, 67, Texarkana Operations, died May 21.

May Retirements

AEP Ohio

Jerry McDaniel, Ironton Service Center, retired May 27 after 30 years of service.

Raymond Wright, Mound Street Service Center, retired May 7 after 41 years of service.

AEP River Operations

Stanley Doss, AEP River Operations, retired May 1 after 14 years of service.

Sharon Smith, AEP River Operations, AEP River Operations, retired May 1 after 13 years of service.

AEP Service Corporation

Ron Patterson, AEP Headquarters, retired May 31 after 27 years of service.

Gary Sommerville, AEP Headquarters, retired May 9 after 37 years of service.

AEP Texas

Billy Berny, Meter Services, retired May 3 after 35 years of service.

Roy Fernandez, Pharr North Service Center, retired May 6 after 32 years of service.

Tonya Goff, Abilene 4th & Plum, retired May 10 after 35 years of service.

Leonard Isbell, Albany Office, retired May 28 after 29 years of service.

AEP Utility Operations

Dean Baker, Mitchell Plant, retired May 2 after 25 years of service.

Bruce Ellis, United Science Testing, Inc., retired May 10 after 13 years of service.

David English, Northeastern Station 3&4, retired May 1 after 23 years of service.

Joseph Frontczak, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired May 29 after 23 years of service.

Kevin Gallagher, Gavin Plant, retired May 1 after 29 years of service.

Bruce Harper, Muskingum River Plant, retired May 1 after 19 years of service.

Gregory Marling, Cardinal Plant, retired May 10 after 39 years of service.

Toby Oldaker, Mountaineer Plant, retired May 1 after 30 years of service.

John Romano, Comanche Station, retired May 10 after 39 years of service.

William Webb, Amos Plant, retired May 1 after 30 years of service.

Appalachian Power

David Langford, Beckley Service Center, retired May 21 after 33 years of service.

William Payne, Pineville Service Center, retired May 1 after 18 years of service.

Fred Sauls, Clintwood Service Center, retired May 1 after 36 years of service.

Walter Tolley, Lynchburg Service Center, retired May 1 after 27 years of service.

Kentucky Power

Larry Pemberton, Ashland Service Center, retired May 1 after 37 years of service.

Policy, Finance and Strategic Planning

Clyde Adkins, Milton Service Center, retired May 1 after 22 years of service.

George Campbell, Shreveport Operations, retired May 1 after 25 years of service.

Dennis Fisher, Three Rivers Service Center, retired May 3 after 36 years of service.

Richard Skeen, Canton General Service Center, retired May 17 after 36 years of service.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Sam Vanover, Vinita Service Center, retired May 6 after 12 years of service.

Southwestern Electric Power

Charles Kaszuba, Shreveport General Office, retired May 10 after 25 years of service.


Edward Carney, Kingsport Service Center, retired May 1 after 40 years of service.

Robert Correa, Corpus Christi Office, retired May 10 after 43 years of service.


New AEP Benefits Center to open online, by email and by phone July 1

Powering-You---Total-Rewards320Starting July 1, retired employees of American Electric Power can easily manage their Health & Welfare and Pension Plan benefits through the new AEP Benefits Center — online, by email and by phone.

AEP retirees will receive information by postal mail soon that will outline how to access the new AEP Benefits Center electronically.

The toll-free number to the AEP Benefits Center, 1-888-237-2363 (1-888-AEP-BENE), is the same phone number used for the current Human Resources Service Center. Phone access to the HR Service Center will continue until 5 p.m. Eastern Time June 27. There will be a brief transition period from June 27 to June 30 as phone access is transferred to the new AEP Benefits Center.

At the AEP Benefits Center, retirees can:

  • Access personalized information about Health & Welfare and Pension benefits, virtually 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Connect with representatives through a live chat feature.
  • Enroll in Health & Welfare benefits during Annual Enrollment (or make changes during the year if you experience a qualifying life event).
  • Use online tools and calculators to help make informed decisions.
  • Manage pension payments.
  • Review and update personal, dependent and beneficiary data.

Cook Plant provides updates on Fukushima upgrades to NRC and House Committee chairs

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Allison Macfarlane (center) and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton on a tour of D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Allison Macfarlane (center) and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (center – left) on a tour of D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant.

BRIDGMAN, Mich. — “A lot has happened in the nuclear industry and specifically at Cook since the accident at Fukushima and we’re pleased that you’ve come to Cook so we can share it with you.”

That was the opening statement made by AEP Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Larry Weber who had the unique opportunity to address both the Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Allison Macfarlane, and local Congressman and chair of the House Energy and Commerce committee, Fred Upton. Those two national energy policy leaders came to D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant on June 6 to tour the plant with a focus on Fukushima upgrades including used fuel storage. The visit came after a tour of Entergy’s Palisades Nuclear Plant located 30 miles to the north earlier that morning.

Macfarlane said she and Upton teamed up for the day because, “As a regulator, it’s important to demonstrate to our elected officials what the NRC is doing day in and day out.” Besides touring the plants, she met with site managers and resident NRC inspectors. She said it’s important for her to see the changes being made at the nation’s 100-plus nuclear power plants, and that “Cook and Palisades are at different stages. Cook is a little ahead on some of the issues.”

The tour included the Spent Fuel Pool in the plant’s Auxiliary Building, the Dry Cask Storage facility and viewing of a 500kw/600v diesel generator and diesel-powered 800 gallon per minute pump. These are just two of the many pieces of equipment that have been recently purchased to provide power and cooling water to the plant in the event of a large-scale emergency similar to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

A new earthquake and tornado-proof storage facility is being built on the Cook site to store the equipment. Additional equipment will be kept in two secure locations away from the site, but close enough to be available within 24 to 48 hours. Processes, procedures and training are also being developed to use these new emergency response capabilities that go beyond the already redundant safety systems that exist.

Upton said, “As Energy and Commerce Chairman and a lifelong member of this community, I am fully committed to ensuring that these plants operate safely and that the NRC does its job. The health and well-being of our communities is absolutely imperative and comes before all else.” He believes “The United States is in the midst of a great energy renaissance. Through the advancement of nuclear power, we can ensure a safe and steady supply of domestic energy while spurring domestic job creation and manufacturing.”

In addition to site specific actions, Cook is participating in the U.S. nuclear industry’s Fukushima response plans. There are three regional response centers that will supply large-scale emergency power and components to any nuclear plant in the United States within 24 to 48 hours. Plants are installing common connections and will have the capability to quickly install the equipment.

The Spent Fuel Pool observation included a discussion of new level-monitoring instrumentation that is being installed this summer. At Fukushima, operators could not determine cooling water level in the pools and this contributed to problems mitigating the accident.

Macfarlane and Upton held a press conference at the Cook Visitor Center following the tour and said that Cook and Palisades are operating safely and meeting regulatory expectations.


AEP River Operations wins 38 Jones F. Devlin Awards

Pilot Neal Buras (second from left) (M/V Safety Team) and Captain Dustin Haydel (second from right) (M/V Safety Quest) accept the Devlin awards on behalf of AEP River Operations during a recent ceremony in New Orleans.

AEP River Operations has been recognized with having 38 vessels that have operated for two full years or more without a crew member losing a full turn at watch because of an occupational injury.

The Devlin Award Certificates are awarded to all self-propelled merchant vessels that work accident-free for two or more years. Three levels of achievement are recognized: a basic two-year award; a three-year award; and a four-year ward. A special award is given annually to ships with five or more years of accident-free operation.

Since 1968, the Chamber of Shipping of America has sponsored two safety programs – the Jones F. Devlin and Safety Achievement Awards. The awards publicly recognize the skills and dedication of the men and women who are responsible for safe ship operations.

The awards were presented at the Annual Ship Safety Achievement Awards Luncheon in New Orleans May 29. Captain Dustin Haydel and Pilot Neal Buras of AEP River Operations accepted the 38 awards on behalf of the vessels mentioned below.

The outstanding achievements of these 38 vessels exemplifies devotion to duty and to the principles of maritime safety, which is worthy of the highest commendation.

Devlin Award Winners

  • Capt. James Anderson, James E. Pinson — 10 years
  • Dru Lirette — 9 years
  • James Morehead, R.L. Carter, Jr. — 8 years
  • Gale Rhodes — 7 years
  • Capt. Bill Steward, Joanne, Safety Convent, Safety Quest — 6 years
  • Buckeye State, Charlotte Roush, Chuck Zebula, Robert D. Byrd, Ron Callegan, Safety Legend, Safety Pride — 5 years
  • Cody Boyd, Jeffrey G. Stover, Safety Challenger, Safety Crusader, Safety Priority — 4 years
  • AEP Legacy, Chris Parsonage, Noble C. Parsonage, Safety First, Safety Team — 3 years
  • AEP Future, Donna Rushing, Harold B. Dodd, Hoosier State, Jeffrey A. Raike, Keith Darling, Leonard Whittington, Mary Scheel, Matt Lagarde, Norman L. Snodgrass, Safety Goal — 2 years



Akins appears on CNBC-TV’s ‘Mad Money w/Jim Cramer’ program

AEP CEO Nick Akins discusses upcoming environmental challenges and more with Jim Cramer on CNBC’s “Mad Money” program.

Nick Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer, appeared on CNBC-TV’s “Mad Money w/Jim Cramer” program May 28 to discuss AEP’s transmission investment, the outlook for power prices, the company’s growth plan, pending regulations on coal plants and more.

Cramer opened the segment by asking Akins about upcoming (June 2) Environmental Protection Agency rules on carbon emissions and what effect that might have on the electric utility industry in general and, specifically, AEP.

“I think we made a clear case about what effect it could have in the future. After the mercury rules, it was clear that there were a lot more coal plants retired than was originally anticipated, so we’ve done a lot already from a greenhouse gas perspective,” Akins answered. “Since 2005, AEP alone has achieved a 21 percent reduction (in greenhouse gas emissions), so we’re making considerable progress.” AEP anticipates additional reductions as it retires approximately 6,600 megawatts of coal-fueled generation over the next few years.

“We’ve also talked a lot about the reliability of the grid,” he added. “When you retire this much generation, you have to be able to put transmission solutions in place and infrastructure development to make sure we continue to operate in a very credible fashion.”

Turning to this past winter and the “polar vortex,” Cramer noted that AEP did operate in a very reliable fashion under extremely difficult conditions and made a lot of money for its shareholders in the process.

“We were very fortunate during the polar vortex that our generation actually ran, so it was an opportunity for us to get ahead and in so doing, at the end of the quarter, we confirmed our 4-to-6 percent earnings growth, we continued to invest an additional $200 million in our transmission effort, we moved $60 million of operations and maintenance (O&M) expense from 2015 and 2016 into 2014, and we also raised (earnings) guidance,” Akins reported. “We also saw about a 3 percent increase in our load, so the economy seemed to improve dramatically, and that’s been confirmed in April.”

Akins added that in the “shale counties” in AEP’s service territory (where there is an abundant amount of shale gas activity), the industrial component of the economy grew at a whopping 30 percent. “We’re also seeing chemical manufacturing, as an outgrowth of that (shale activity) continue to improve, as well,” Akins said. “That’s what’s driving the growth.”

On the residential side, Akins also told Cramer that AEP is finally seeing an uptick in housing and customer counts, which could help improve that segment of the business in the coming months and years.

AEP will work with states to evaluate impacts of EPA’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ proposal

(Story by Rachel Hammer)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) June 2 proposed guidelines to be used by states to develop plans to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing fossil-fueled power plants. The proposal includes state-by-state goals and provides options that the states can use to develop and implement plans for meeting the reductions.

AEP is evaluating EPA’s proposal and will participate in this process and will work to protect the interests of its customers.

A 120-day public comment period will open once the proposal publishes in the Federal Register. In addition, EPA will hold public hearings in Denver, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh during the last week of July. EPA will issue the final rule next year. States’ compliance plans are due in June 2016, with reductions to be phased in over the period between 2020 and 2030.

AEP is evaluating the proposal and will participate in this process and will work to protect the interests of its customers. The company will coordinate with key stakeholders in states where it has power plants to encourage the development of plans that sensibly address each state’s economic and energy needs.

According to EPA, the proposal will reduce CO2 emissions 30 percent overall by 2030. However, initial review of the nearly 700-page proposal indicates that for many states where AEP operates, the requirements could be much higher than 30 percent.

AEP will retire more than one-fourth of its existing coal-fueled power plant fleet in the next few years. The plants that will remain in operation are AEP’s most efficient units. The company has invested more than $10 billion for emission controls in them to comply with other EPA requirements.


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