COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) will continue its progress toward a clean energy future by investing in its regulated businesses and renewable generation. The company's 2021 operating earnings (earnings excluding special items) guidance range of $4.51 to $4.71 per share reflects its projected annual operating earnings growth rate of 5% to 7%. AEP management will discuss the company's strategy and financial growth plans during the annual Edison Electric Institute Financial Conference Nov. 9-10, which will be held virtually this year.
Operating earnings could differ from those prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for matters such as impairments, divestitures or changes in accounting principles. AEP is unable to forecast if any of these items will occur or any amounts that may be recorded for future periods. Therefore, AEP is not able to provide a corresponding GAAP equivalent for earnings guidance.
The company plans to invest $37 billion in capital from 2021 through 2025, with the bulk allocated to regulated businesses and renewables. AEP's capital plan includes $26.7 billion in transmission and distribution operations investments to continue updating infrastructure and implementing new technologies to benefit customers. During the same period, AEP plans to invest $2.8 billion in regulated renewable generation and $2.1 billion in competitive, contracted renewable projects.
"As AEP transitions to a cleaner energy future, we're creating new solutions for customers, while also bringing value to our shareholders. The company's capital investments reflect our commitment to enhancing service and delivering reliable, clean energy and advanced technologies that exceed our customers' expectations," said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer.
"We plan to invest 14% of our capital through 2025 in renewable energy within and outside our traditional service territory, and we project renewables will represent approximately 40% of our fuel mix by 2030. As part of our ongoing efforts to diversify our energy portfolio, AEP received approval this year to move forward with the North Central wind facilities, which will bring 1,485 megawatts of clean energy to Southwestern Electric Power Company and Public Service Company of Oklahoma customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
"Another significant piece of our capital plan is our investment in wires, with 71% allocated to improving and updating the energy grid. By integrating new technologies to optimize distribution and transmission networks, we'll be better equipped to continue delivering reliable and affordable clean energy to customers.
"We remain committed to improving our environmental footprint and leading by example as we work toward a clean energy future. We announced a goal to replace 100% of the company's 2,300 cars and light-duty trucks with EV alternatives by 2030, and we plan to transition medium- and heavy-duty vehicles as electric or hybrid models become available.
"AEP's strong financial performance continues to provide value to our shareholders. This year, we increased our quarterly dividend by 4 cents to 74 cents a share and delivered our 442nd consecutive quarterly cash dividend," Akins said.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP's approximately 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation's largest electricity transmission system and more than 221,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation's largest electricity producers with approximately 30,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP's family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.
This report made by American Electric Power and its Registrant Subsidiaries contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although AEP and each of its Registrant Subsidiaries believe that their expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are: changes in economic conditions, electric market demand and demographic patterns in AEP service territories; inflationary or deflationary interest rate trends; volatility in the financial markets, particularly developments affecting the availability or cost of capital to finance new capital projects and refinance existing debt; the availability and cost of funds to finance working capital and capital needs, particularly during periods when the time lag between incurring costs and recovery is long and the costs are material; decreased demand for electricity; weather conditions, including storms and drought conditions, and AEP's ability to recover significant storm restoration costs; the cost of fuel and its transportation, the creditworthiness and performance of fuel suppliers and transporters and the cost of storing and disposing of used fuel, including coal ash and spent nuclear fuel; the availability of fuel and necessary generating capacity and the performance of AEP's generating plants; AEP's ability to recover fuel and other energy costs through regulated or competitive electric rates; AEP's ability to build or acquire renewable generation, transmission lines and facilities (including the ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to recover those costs; new legislation, litigation and government regulation, including oversight of nuclear generation, energy commodity trading and new or heightened requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances that could impact the continued operation, cost recovery, and/or profitability of AEP's generation plants and related assets; evolving public perception of the risks associated with fuels used before, during and after the generation of electricity, including nuclear fuel; timing and resolution of pending and future rate cases, negotiations and other regulatory decisions, including rate or other recovery of new investments in generation, distribution and transmission service and environmental compliance; resolution of litigation; AEP's ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; prices and demand for power generated and sold at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to energy storage and new, developing, alternative or distributed sources of generation; AEP's ability to recover through rates any remaining unrecovered investment in generation units that may be retired before the end of their previously projected useful lives; volatility and changes in markets for coal, and other energy-related commodities, particularly changes in the price of natural gas; changes in utility regulation and the allocation of costs within regional transmission organizations, including ERCOT, PJM and SPP; changes in the creditworthiness of the counterparties with whom AEP has contractual arrangements, including participants in the energy trading market; actions of rating agencies, including changes in the ratings of AEP debt; the impact of volatility in the capital markets on the value of the investments held by AEP's pension, OPEB, captive insurance entity and nuclear decommissioning trust and the impact of such volatility on future funding requirements; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; and other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes, naturally occurring and human-caused fires, cyber security threats and other catastrophic events.
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SOURCE American Electric Power