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AEP Ohio Files Plan to Secure Grid Resources for Data Centers, Protect Residential Customers By Investing.com

May 13, 2024



GAHANNA, Ohio, May 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ —  AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: NASDAQ:) company, today filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in docket 24-508-EL-ATA a proposal that would create a new rate category for data center customers and cryptocurrency mining/mobile data center operations. The proposed rate structure would require new data centers with loads greater than 25 megawatts (MW) and cryptocurrency mining operations/mobile data centers with loads greater than 1 MW to agree to meet certain requirements before facilities are constructed to serve them.

“Demand for computing power from data centers, which require enormous amounts of electricity, is being fueled by artificial intelligence and other new technologies. AEP Ohio is seeing unprecedented demand from data center customers, especially in the Central Ohio area. While we see no concerns serving current or new residential and existing commercial or industrial customers, we need to ensure that the right long-term investments are made to the electric grid,” said Marc Reitter, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “We need accurate plans and solid commitments from large data center customers so the right facilities are built at the right time. This will help us keep Ohio open for business for all industries, while making sure customers aren’t paying for unused infrastructure.”

Under the proposal, data centers would be required to make a 10-year commitment to pay for a minimum of 90% of the energy they say they need each month “ even if they use less.

Data center development has rapidly expanded in AEP Ohio’s service territory, especially in the Central Ohio region. Electricity demand in Central Ohio, driven largely by data centers, is already expected to more than double by 2030 making demand in the region roughly equal to that of Manhattan. Adding additional large users will require investment in new extra-high voltage transmission lines to bring more power into the region. These lines can take 7-10 years to plan and construct.

“AEP Ohio has helped the state of Ohio attract thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in investment because over the decades, AEP has built an extensive network of transmission lines to deliver the power these customers need,” Reitter added. “This is one of the reasons data center developers targeted Central Ohio, and they continue to request large amounts of power. We need to ensure they can follow through with their commitments as significant new investments are made to serve them.”

The new rate structure provides AEP Ohio and its customers with the certainty needed to develop long-term plans and offers data center and cryptocurrency mining customers a clear understanding of their obligations as customers.

AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. AEP Ohio provides electricity to 1.5 million customers. News and information about AEP Ohio can be found at AEPOhio.com.

At American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, we understand that our customers and communities depend on safe, reliable and affordable power. Our nearly 17,000 employees operate and maintain more than 40,000 miles of transmission lines, the nation’s largest electric transmission system, and more than 225,000 miles of distribution lines to deliver power to 5.6 million customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 29,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including nearly 6,000 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP is investing $43 billion over the next five years to make the electric grid cleaner and more reliable. We are on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and have a goal to achieve net zero by 2045. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement 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.

 

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