AEP transmission venture with Allegheny files to establish FERC rate for path transmission project

Columbus, OH, Jan. 2, 2008 — American Electric Power (AEP) announced that Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline LLC, its transmission joint venture with Allegheny Energy, has filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to establish a transmission rate to recover costs for the approximately 290-mile, extra-high voltage transmission line that the companies propose to build from West Virginia into Maryland.

The companies are seeking a transmission cost-of-service formula rate, effective March 1, 2008, that will provide for annual updates to the amounts that PJM Interconnection (PJM), an independent regional transmission operator, will charge utilities to recover the costs of the project. The proposed rate includes recovery of a return on construction work in progress (CWIP) for the project and a return on equity of 14.3 percent, which includes an incentive award, consistent with federal policy to encourage significant transmission infrastructure and technology improvements. AEP and Allegheny each separately received FERC approval for incentive rate treatments for individually proposed transmission projects that ultimately became the joint Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) project.

The PATH project includes approximately 244 miles of 765-kilovolt (kV) extra-high voltage transmission from AEP’s Amos substation near St. Albans, WV, to Allegheny’s Bedington substation, northeast of Martinsburg, WV. Another 46 miles of twin-circuit 500-kV transmission will be constructed from Bedington to a new substation to be built near Kemptown, southeast of Frederick, MD. The total project is estimated to cost approximately $1.8 billion. PJM identified June 2012 as the date by which the PATH project needs to be operational.

“The PATH project addresses significant reliability concerns in the region, including overloads that will occur on more than thirteen existing transmission lines in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania, as soon as 2012 if PATH is not built,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman, president and CEO. “Establishing FERC rates for the project will provide the timely cost recovery necessary to obtain financing and allow us to move forward and bring the project on line in time to help prevent overloads on these lines.”

Once approved by FERC, the costs of the PATH project will be allocated to all electric utilities who serve retail customers in the PJM region.

AEP and Allegheny plan to begin work on the routing study and environmental assessment for the PATH project in January 2008. The companies anticipate seeking regulatory approvals for the project from the utility commissions in both West Virginia and Maryland in the fourth quarter of 2008, following the completion of the routing study.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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