COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP's approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation's largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation's largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,900 megawatts of renewable energy. The company's plans include growing its renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2030. AEP is on track to achieve an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieve net zero by 2050. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP's family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.
This report made by American Electric Power and its Registrant Subsidiaries contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although AEP and each of its Registrant Subsidiaries believe that their expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are: changes in economic conditions, electric market demand and demographic patterns in AEP service territories; inflationary or deflationary interest rate trends; volatility in the financial markets, particularly developments affecting the availability or cost of capital to finance new capital projects and refinance existing debt; the availability and cost of funds to finance working capital and capital needs, particularly during periods when the time lag between incurring costs and recovery is long and the costs are material; decreased demand for electricity; weather conditions, including storms and drought conditions, and AEP's ability to recover significant storm restoration costs; the cost of fuel and its transportation, the creditworthiness and performance of fuel suppliers and transporters and the cost of storing and disposing of used fuel, including coal ash and spent nuclear fuel; the availability of fuel and necessary generating capacity and the performance of AEP's generating plants; AEP's ability to recover fuel and other energy costs through regulated or competitive electric rates; AEP's ability to build or acquire renewable generation, transmission lines and facilities (including the ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to recover those costs; new legislation, litigation and government regulation, including oversight of nuclear generation, energy commodity trading and new or heightened requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances that could impact the continued operation, cost recovery, and/or profitability of AEP's generation plants and related assets; evolving public perception of the risks associated with fuels used before, during and after the generation of electricity, including nuclear fuel; timing and resolution of pending and future rate cases, negotiations and other regulatory decisions, including rate or other recovery of new investments in generation, distribution and transmission service and environmental compliance; resolution of litigation; AEP's ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; prices and demand for power generated and sold at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to energy storage and new, developing, alternative or distributed sources of generation; AEP's ability to recover through rates any remaining unrecovered investment in generation units that may be retired before the end of their previously projected useful lives; volatility and changes in markets for coal, and other energy-related commodities, particularly changes in the price of natural gas; changes in utility regulation and the allocation of costs within regional transmission organizations, including ERCOT, PJM and SPP; changes in the creditworthiness of the counterparties with whom AEP has contractual arrangements, including participants in the energy trading market; actions of rating agencies, including changes in the ratings of AEP debt; the impact of volatility in the capital markets on the value of the investments held by AEP's pension, OPEB, captive insurance entity and nuclear decommissioning trust and the impact of such volatility on future funding requirements; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; and other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes, naturally occurring and human-caused fires, cyber security threats and other catastrophic events.
SOURCE American Electric Power
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