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Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power (AEP) has formed a joint venture company with Duke Energy to build and own new electric transmission assets.

Through the 50-50 partnership, AEP and Duke are proposing to build 240 miles of extra-high voltage 765 kV transmission lines and related facilities in Indiana. The project would link the Greentown Station with the Rockport Station.

Estimated costs for the project are approximately $1 billion, but final costs will depend on the routing of the line, equipment and commodity costs. AEP and Duke will be working with the PJM Interconnection and Midwest ISO (MISO) to determine the optimal configuration for the final project. The project will be wholly owned by the joint venture.

"The need to build additional transmission provides the opportunity to invest in a long-term transmission solution that will facilitate development of additional generation - including renewables - and support the reliable transport of electricity to fuel future economic growth," says Susan Tomasky, president of AEP Transmission. "For example, more than 3,000 MW of wind power has been proposed in central Indiana, but additional transmission is necessary to bring it online."

AEP and Duke will submit the Greentown-Rockport proposal to PJM and MISO for consideration in their transmission expansion plans. The joint venture will file in Indiana to operate as a transmission utility and will file seeking rate approval for the project from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the third quarter. The in-service date for Greentown-Rockport will be determined by the MISO and PJM planning processes, with the earliest possible completion in 2014 or 2015.

SOURCE: American Electric Power



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