Powering the Future
The resources and generating technologies used to produce and distribute electricity in the future will blend the traditional with the alternative. AEP’s fuel portfolio has steadily become more diverse and balanced as we increased our use of natural gas and renewable resources, as well as energy efficiency.
Since 2004, AEP has added nearly 5,000 MW of natural gas generating capacity to our portfolio and secured long-term contracts for 2,183 MW of wind and 10 MW of solar generation. Currently, AEP is developing its first 15.7 MW utility-scale solar project in Indiana. In addition, we are investing in our two nuclear units at the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant to enhance performance during its extended life. These are among the many efforts under way to increase the diversity of our generating fleet and provide greater flexibility to adjust to changing fuel prices and market conditions.
We project AEP’s generating capacity to shift from approximately 61 percent coal and 23 percent natural gas in 2014 to approximately 48 percent coal and 25 percent natural gas in 2026. The remainder of our resource needs will be supplied by renewable energy, nuclear, hydroelectric and pumped storage, energy efficiency and demand response programs. Transmission expansion and smart grid technology deployments are other tools that can help us address the changes in generating capacity.
The values shown for energy efficiency and demand response represent anticipated incremental growth of these programs that are over-and-above energy efficiencies anticipated from emerging federal codes & standards, which are already embedded in our load forecast. In addition, our energy efficiency and demand response programs generally reflect AEP offering an incentive to simply advance the adoption of a more efficient technology; actual growth is driven by our state regulators. Other factors impacting this include AEP’s low retail rates, low load growth and low avoided cost.