June 12, 2013 / 5:15 PM / 5 years ago

AEP to add wind power in mid-west U.S. to meet renewable demand

June 12 (Reuters) - U.S. power company American Electric Power Co Inc (AEP) will increase the amount of wind power it delivers in Indiana, Michigan and Oklahoma as consumers demand more renewable energy.

AEP is buying more renewables as federal regulators crack down on emissions from the company’s mostly coal-fired power plants and states and consumers demand utilities buy more power from renewable sources like wind and solar.

AEP’s Public Service Company of Oklahoma unit this week issued a request for proposals seeking long-term purchases of up to 200 megawatts (MW) of new wind energy resources.

Also this week, AEP’s Indiana Michigan unit said it would add 200 MW of wind power to its generation portfolio under a 20-year power purchase agreement with a unit of EDP Renovaveis SA.

EDP Renovaveis is majority owned by Portuguese energy company EDP Energias de Portugal

In Oklahoma, AEP said it wants the wind power deliveries to start Jan. 1, 2016, subject to approval by Oklahoma utility regulators.

The Oklahoma proposals are due July 1.

AEP said the Oklahoma wind will replace a power purchase agreement expiring at the end of 2015.

AEP’s Oklahoma unit has over 4,200 MW of generation serving more than 540,000 power customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma.

For its Indiana Michigan customers, AEP said the new Headwaters wind farm will be built in Randolph County, Indiana, about 85 miles (137 km) east of Indianapolis.

EDP Renovaveis expects to begin construction on Headwaters before the end of 2013 with full operations by the end of 2014, AEP said.

“Our agreement with EDP (Renovaveis) is an important step in our continuing efforts to diversify our generation portfolio, which includes wind, hydro, nuclear and coal,” Paul Chodak III, president and COO for Indiana Michigan Power, said in a release.

EDP Renovaveis expects to create more than 150 full-time jobs throughout the construction phase and more than 20 permanent jobs once the project is completed in 2014, AEP said.

The addition of the Headwaters wind farm will bring Indiana Michigan’s total wind power portfolio to 450 MW, AEP said.

Indiana Michigan operates over 5,700 MW of mostly coal and nuclear generation to provide electricity to more than 582,000 customers.

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