American Electric Power (AEP) Ohio has signed a memorandum of understanding to negotiate a long-term power purchase agreement for solar energy with Turning Point Solar.

Under the agreement, AEP will purchase through a 20-year agreement all of the output including renewable energy credits from a 49.9MW solar generating facility to be located in southeastern Ohio.

The facility will be located on approximately 500 acres including reclaimed lands owned by AEP adjacent to The Wilds, a conservation centre in North America.

Construction and commercial operation of the solar generating facility will be phased in over three years.

Approximately 20MW is expected to be in commercial operation by late 2012, and an additional 15MW will be added by the end of 2013 and the remaining will be online by the end of 2014.

AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of its subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power and Ohio Power in Ohio, and Wheeling Power in the northern panhandle of West Virginia.