COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has released its 2015 Corporate Accountability Report, titled "Powering the Future," which includes discussion of the company's strategy, governance and financial performance.
This is AEP's ninth year of reporting on its sustainability performance and its sixth integrated report combining sustainability and financial information. The company's reporting is guided by the Global Reporting Initiative, its new "G4" Reporting Framework and its Electric Utility Sector Supplement. The web-based report, available at www.AEPSustainability.com, is complemented by an iPad and iPhone app that provides an interactive overview of the integrated report.
"Our 2015 Corporate Accountability Report acknowledges the connection between our financial performance, our environmental responsibilities and our company culture, and it shows that we consider the social impact of all our efforts," said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Updating stakeholders on our 2014 activities, our 2015 plans, and our vision and strategy also demonstrates AEP's commitment to transparency."
AEP's 2015 Corporate Accountability Report is focused on several key areas: business performance, technology and innovation, customers and communities, and AEP's workforce. Among its highlights, the report discusses AEP's 2014 financial successes. AEP was one of the top five best-performing utility stocks for 2014, and shareholders received a total return of 35 percent, exceeding the total returns for both the S&P 500 Electric Utilities Index and the S&P 500.
The report discusses AEP's capital investment strategy, including the company's focus on lower-emissions generating capacity including natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency. The company is retiring more than 6,500 megawatts (MW) of coal-fueled generation in 2015 and 2016 and is refueling coal-fueled generating units in Kentucky and Virginia with natural gas. AEP also is building nearly 16 MW of utility-scale solar generation in Indiana and Michigan.
AEP is investing heavily in the transmission grid to support the nation's changing energy mix and make the grid more efficient, resilient and flexible. A resilient, flexible grid is critical to support generation resource diversity including expanded renewable generation, energy storage and demand-side technologies. AEP plans to invest approximately $4.8 billion in its regulated transmission businesses over the next three years. This investment includes an innovative, patented transmission line design called BOLD™ (Breakthrough Overhead Line Design). BOLD™ transmission design increases the efficiency and power transport of a transmission line while also enhancing its visual appearance and reducing its physical footprint. AEP's first BOLD™ project is rebuilding and expanding an existing 138-kilovolt line near Fort Wayne, Ind.
AEP's Corporate Accountability Report discusses the company's relationship with its customers and the communities it serves. AEP invested more than $25 million in 2014 to support education, community needs, environmental stewardship and economic growth.
The company's achievements in safety, continuous improvement and workforce planning also are highlighted. Most notably, in 2014, AEP employees completed a third consecutive year with no fatalities. AEP also has made significant investments to enhance its culture and support development of a high-performance, inclusive work environment focused on innovation, safety and efficiency.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5.3 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP's transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP's utility units operate as 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 and east Texas). AEP's headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.