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AEP signs agreements with Chinese companies to advance power generation, transmission and distribution technologies

by on January 19, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 18, 2011 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has signed cooperation agreements with two Chinese companies to advance transmission, distribution and cleaner power generation technologies, including carbon capture and storage.

“These agreements will bring together some of the best engineering talents on the globe to evaluate and advance clean energy technologies. By sharing knowledge and expanding the clean energy focus of the two largest energy consuming economies, we can accelerate progress and enable both of our nations to benefit from a cleaner, more reliable, and more secure energy future,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman and chief executive officer.

AEP signed a cooperation agreement with China Huaneng, China’s largest power generation company, through which AEP, Huaneng, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Energy Administration of China will perform the initial evaluation of a post-combustion, advanced amine carbon capture technology developed by China Huaneng for power plant applications. Additionally, the two companies will share data about power plant operation efficiencies pioneered at both companies.

AEP already is operating a 20-megawatt validation of a different post-combustion, carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology, Alstom’s patented chilled ammonia process, at AEP’s Mountaineer Plant in New Haven, W.Va., and is permanently storing the captured CO2 in underground rock formations. AEP plans to scale-up the chilled ammonia technology to a 235-megawatt, commercial-scale project in the 2015 timeframe. The U.S. Department of Energy is funding 50 percent of the commercial-scale project costs, up to $334 million.

“While we continue to advance Alstom’s chilled ammonia technology at our Mountaineer Plant, it is important to continue to evaluate other technological options for addressing greenhouse gases as well,” Morris said.

AEP signed a second cooperation agreement with State Grid Corporation of China, the largest utility in China, through which the two companies will jointly evaluate and potentially advance six transmission and distribution technologies, including ultra-high-voltage transmission equipment, advanced energy storage technologies, smart-meter technologies, and distributed generation technologies. Experts from each company will work together to research different technologies and share data about their performance. If the technologies prove feasible, the companies will explore potential fabrication and manufacturing in the United States.

The agreements were facilitated by Ming Sung, head of the Beijing office of Clean Air Task Force (CATF). CATF is a Boston-based nongovernmental organization that has been working in China since 2007 to build strategic partnerships between the United States and Chinese energy companies to reduce low-carbon energy costs and accelerate development of clean energy technologies, particularly carbon capture and storage, in the U.S. and abroad.

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