American Electric Power (AEP) will accelerate the construction process of a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant near Dresden, Ohio.

The partially constructed plant was purchased in 2007 by AEP through its AEP Generating Company subsidiary from Dresden Energy, a subsidiary of Dominion, for approximately $85m.

AEP expects the plant to be operational during the first quarter of 2012.

When completed, the Dresden plant will be a nominal 580MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle plant.

AEP chairman and CEO Michael Morris said that the completion of the Dresden plant will provide AEP the cost-effective solution to meet its customers’ energy needs.

"As we continue to diversify our generating fleet, the time is right to accelerate construction of this plant," Morris said.