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Employee Podcast: Why AEP is Moving Away from Coal

by on September 17, 2021

Rockport Plant, Indiana, I&M, June 29, 2015

Rockport Plant, Indiana.

Working for a major utility company, we all know that our industry is going through a historic and dramatic shift in where and how we generate electricity for our customers.

For decades, AEP invested billions of dollars in coal-fired generation plants. Today, AEP is shifting its investments from fossil fuels into wind turbine, solar power projects and other technologies. That has meant difficult decisions have been made that impact our fellow employees.

The forces behind these changes are explored in the latest episode of the [AEP Employee Podcast]: Why AEP is Moving Away from Coal.

Discussing the company’s position are Paul Chodak, executive vice president, Generation; Darcy Reese, vice president, Investor Relations; and Toby Thomas, senior vice president, Energy Delivery (at the time of the taping Thomas was president and chief operating officer of Indiana Michigan Power). The episode is hosted by Bailey Cultice, communications consultant principal.

“This is not a decision that AEP has made on its own, this is not a unilateral decision,” Chodak said citing investor pressure, the low cost of renewable power and the looming likelihood of more regulation for carbon emissions. “Straight up economics has taken us to where we are now.”

More and more, large investors want to know AEP’s plan to transition away from coal and how quickly we can do it. “They are looking at climate change,” Reese said. “It is a defining issue of our time.”

Listen to the entire episode for a detailed look into the strategy and challenges AEP faces.

Also, please check out the[ other podcast episodes] which have featured stories on AEP’s meteorology team, a Native American running program, how AEP protects the grid and much more.

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