AEP Ohio, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, has submitted a proposal to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to purchase 400MW of power from 300MW and 100MW solar plants that will be constructed in Ohio’s Appalachian region in Highland County.


Image: AEP Ohio to purchase 400MW of solar power for its customers. Photo courtesy of Neville Micallef/

The 300MW Highland Solar and 100MW Willowbrook Solar projects are being developed and will be owned by Hecate Energy Highland and Willowbrook Solar, respectively.

Both projects are expected to be operational by the end of 2021.

AEP Ohio president and COO Julie Sloat said: “AEP Ohio customers have expressed their support for renewable generation resources built in Ohio.

“AEP Ohio is taking a bold step to secure Ohio’s energy future by enabling the development of 400MW of new solar generation, including the largest solar facility in the state.

“We have listened to our customers and are working each day to provide them with the energy products and services they want. The addition of these solar projects to Ohio’s generation mix will help ensure our customers are receiving their energy from a reliable, secure and diverse mix of resources.”

Nearly 4,000 jobs are expected to be created during the construction. The plants are expected to contribute $24m in new state tax revenue and $6.7m in local tax revenue.

Building materials for the plants will be procured from Ohio manufacturers, and military veterans will be given hiring preference for construction-related jobs.

AEP Ohio has signed two 20-year Renewable Energy Purchase Agreements (REPAs) for the power produced at these facilities.

Customers are expected to save approximately $200m over the life of the fixed-price agreements compared with the projected cost of power in the future.

An AEP Ohio residential customer using 1,000kWh of electricity will see a 28-cent-per-month increase in electric bill.

In a 2016 agreement approved by the PUCO and a group of stakeholders, AEP Ohio committed to pursuing 900MW of renewable generation resources, built in Ohio. Earlier in 2018, PUCO granted approval to AEP Ohio’s Electric Security Plan, supporting this commitment.

Construction will begin after PUCO evaluates the proposal and issues a decision.

In February, Aerican Electric Power (AEP) announced plans to add about 8GW of renewable power generation capacity by 2030 and also invest close to $13bn over the next three years in its transmission and distribution system.