Sierra Club and AEP Reach Agreement on Renewable Energy and Electric Vehicle Pilot Program

Sierra Club, AEP, PUCO Staff and other stakeholders reached agreement in a case before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that will advance an existing agreement to develop 900 MW of clean renewable energy, as well as initiate a groundbreaking electric vehicle program, while protecting AEP consumers from monthly fixed fee rate increases.The agreement adds flexibility to the cost recovery methods that will be used to develop new clean energy projects, which furthers Sierra Club’s vision of attracting a job-creating renewable energy manufacturing hub to Appalachian Ohio. The August 25th settlement agreement also establishes a $10 million electric vehicle pilot program that will provide support to the City of Columbus’ Smart Cities effort and increase access to electric vehicle charging across AEP’s service territory. Specifically it will dedicate $3.7 million to level 2 charging at multi-unit dwellings, workplaces and in public locations, and $5.8 million to fast-charging stations which will enable long-distance electric vehicle travel within the state. Finally, AEP dropped its request for a new rate design that would have increased fixed customer charges by $10/month according to the original application.

The settlement agreement, which still requires final Commission approval, was supported by a broad set of stakeholders, including commission staff as well as environmental, consumer, renewable energy, and large customer interests.

In response, Daniel Sawmiller, Senior Campaign Representative for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign released the following statement:

“AEP’s customers have been demanding clean energy for years. Our vision in these settlement agreements has been to attract clean energy investments into Ohio’s Appalachian communities at sufficient scale to appeal to job-creating manufacturers in the solar supply chain. Ohio has relied on the families in Appalachia for power production for decades. Now, with high unemployment rates and other problems facing Appalachian Ohio, we’re glad to be one step closer to bringing new clean energy jobs to the region.

“Electric vehicles are also a critical part of Ohio’s clean energy future. This pilot program will make electric vehicle charging available at apartment complexes, workplaces and in low-income communities where charging is needed. This program provides a great opportunity to learn as the Commission continues its PowerForward Initiative and to ultimately leverage electric vehicle charging for the benefit of all AEP customers. As more charging stations become available, electric vehicle adoption will continue to grow in Ohio and  help to reduce dangerous pollution that fills our air and harms our health and climate.”

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