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AEP Highlights Plans for Investments in Grid, Renewables

by on November 10, 2021

American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) plans to invest in its regulated businesses and renewable generation as it continues to transform and build a cleaner, more modern energy system. The company announced its 2022 operating earnings (earnings excluding special items) guidance range of $4.85 to $5.05 per share, reflecting its projected annual operating earnings growth rate of 5% to 7%. AEP has met or exceeded its earnings per share guidance every year for more than a decade. AEP management will discuss the company’s strategy and financial growth plans during the annual Edison Electric Institute Financial Conference, Nov. 7-9.

Operating earnings could differ from those prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for matters such as impairments, divestitures or changes in accounting principles. AEP is unable to forecast if any of these items will occur or any amounts that may be recorded for future periods. Therefore, AEP is not able to provide a corresponding GAAP equivalent for earnings guidance.

The company plans to invest $38 billion in capital from 2022 through 2026 with an emphasis on transmission, distribution and renewable energy. AEP will allocate $23.3 billion to transmission and distribution operations to construct a more efficient grid and deliver custom energy solutions to customers. During the same period, AEP plans to invest $8.2 billion in regulated renewable generation and $1.7 billion in competitive, contracted renewable projects.

“AEP continues to focus on capital investments that support our efforts to provide clean, reliable energy to the communities we serve, while managing customer affordability and delivering solid shareholder value,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Our extensive pipeline of needed grid investments and regulated renewable opportunities will allow us to strategically shift capital as necessary to deliver on our 5% to 7% growth rate.

“We’re transitioning to a more balanced generation portfolio and plan to invest 26% of our capital over the next five years in renewable energy within and outside AEP’s service territory, as we grow renewables to approximately half of our capacity by 2030. Two of the North Central Wind projects, Sundance and Maverick, began operation this year and are delivering clean energy to Southwestern Electric Power Company and Public Service Company of Oklahoma customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. We expect the final project, Traverse, to begin operation in early 2022. The three projects will add 1,485 megawatts of renewable energy to our portfolio once completed.

“AEP is committed to transforming the energy grid to better integrate renewable resources and deliver the low-cost, reliable energy that customers expect. Our investment plan allocates 61% of capital to wires, which enables us to revitalize our transmission and distribution systems and implement technologies to enhance our customers’ energy experience.

“We recently announced the sale of our Kentucky operations, including Kentucky Power and AEP Kentucky Transco, for $2.846 billion. This sale will help support the growth of the company as we invest in a clean energy future.

“AEP’s strategic business decisions allow us to continue providing increased returns to shareholders. This year, we increased the quarterly dividend by 4 cents to 78 cents a share and delivered our 446th consecutive quarterly cash dividend,” Akins said.

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