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Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power (AEP) has formed a joint venture company with a subsidiary of Des Moines, Iowa-based MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. to build and own electric transmission assets.

The joint venture, called Electric Transmission America LLC (ETA), will be a 50-50 partnership to identify and invest in high-voltage transmission projects (345-kV or higher) located in North America outside of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) territory, according to the companies.

AEP and MidAmerican previously agreed to collaborate on transmission expansion in ERCOT through a joint venture agreement announced in November 2006 to form Electric Transmission Texas (ETT). The companies expect that joint venture to be formalized this fall after ETT receives approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas to operate as a utility.

Through ETA, AEP and MidAmerican intend to invest in transmission projects with a cost of at least $100 million or more. The companies hope to identify and initiate the approval process for the first ETA project during the first half of 2008.

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