COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's order from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) on the company's modified Electric Security Plan (ESP) grants many of the components necessary to address distribution reliability, economic development, and energy efficiency, but there are key issues that need to be resolved, according to American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its AEP Ohio operating unit.
"We respect the Ohio Commission's decision to accelerate the move to full competition, but have consistently emphasized the need for a reasonable transition that maintains the health of AEP Ohio," said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP president and chief executive officer. "Today's Commission order, when combined with the capacity order of July 2, provides more clarity on the timing and specifics of the transition. As we review the order and consider next steps, we will seek additional certainty regarding the transition to competition that our investors require."
The PUCO did not rule on the company's proposal to corporately separate its generation and wires assets in Ohio. "To ensure the development of a true competitive electricity market, it is critical the Commission issues a timely corporate separation order allowing AEP Ohio to effectively implement the desired outcomes in today's ruling. Resolution of these three related cases is necessary to provide customers with the tools they need to manage their electricity costs and provide AEP Ohio with the resources it needs to continue providing reliable electric service to our customers."The company is concerned that the Commission did not decide corporate separation, but ordered AEP Ohio to double the competitive auction amount in 2013 and significantly advance the timing of subsequent auctions. The company's proposed modified ESP also included significant additional revenues that the Commission denied. "We are disappointed that the overall value of the Commission's order falls short of the reasonable proposal the company offered," Akins said.