AEP's ETA Transmission Venture Joins With Westar Energy To

Build 765-kV Transmission in Kansas 
COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Electric Transmission
America (ETA), a joint venture of subsidiaries of American Electric Power
(NYSE: AEP) and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., has formed a joint venture
company with Westar Energy Inc. (NYSE: WR) to build and own new electric
transmission assets in Kansas. 
The ETA and Westar joint venture, named Prairie Wind Transmission LLC, is
proposing to build approximately 230 miles of extra-high voltage 765-kilovolt
(kV) transmission facilities extending from Wichita, Kan., west to a
substation northeast of Dodge City, Kan., and then south to the Kansas border
from Medicine Lodge, Kan. The project will provide enhanced electricity
transport in Kansas and support expansion of renewable electricity generation
in the region. 
Southwest Power Pool's (SPP) estimated costs for the project are
approximately $600 million; however, final costs will be dependent on the
routing of the line, equipment and commodity costs. Anticipated completion
would be in 2013. AEP's ownership share of the joint venture will be 25
"This project will provide a critical pathway for expansion of renewable
generation in Kansas and within the Southwest Power Pool. More than 30,000
megawatts of wind generation has been proposed for transmission
interconnection in this region, but there is insufficient transmission
capacity available to transport it to where it could be accessed by
customers," said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman, president and chief
executive officer. "Our collaboration with Westar and MidAmerican would build
the first segment of a larger extra-high voltage transmission highway that has
been proposed by the Southwest Power Pool to enhance reliability and support
development of the sizable renewable generation resources in the region.
Without additional transmission construction, these renewable resources will
remain untapped. 
"Westar has significant transmission assets and success in gaining
approval for transmission projects in Kansas. MidAmerican is the fifth largest
transmission owner in the United States, and AEP has more than 100 years of
transmission expertise, including owning the nation's largest, and arguably
most reliable, electricity transmission system. Our companies share a vision
for transmission expansion based on the recognition that the United States
needs significant transmission investment to ensure reliability, meet growing
electricity demand, better use existing generation and support new generation,
including renewables," Morris said. 
The Kansas project encompasses the first phase of the Extra-High-Voltage
Overlay Study plan released March 3 by SPP. Westar and ETA anticipate filing
in the near future seeking authority from the Kansas Corporation Commission to
construct, own and operate transmission in Kansas. The companies also will
seek rate approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the
coming months. 
AEP and MidAmerican operate another transmission joint venture, Electric
Transmission Texas, LLC, a transmission-only utility providing transmission
services and pursuing opportunities for additional transmission investment
within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. 
Westar Energy is the largest electric utility in Kansas, providing
electric service to more than 674,000 customers in the state. Headquartered in
Topeka, Kan., Westar Energy has about 6,200 megawatts of electric generation
capacity and operates and coordinates more than 33,000 miles of electric
distribution and transmission lines. 
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., based in Des Moines, Iowa, is a global
provider of energy services. Through its energy-related business platforms --
PacifiCorp, MidAmerican Energy Co., CE Electric UK, Kern River Gas
Transmission Company, Northern Natural Gas Company, and CalEnergy --
MidAmerican provides electric and natural gas service to more than 6.9 million
customers worldwide. MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company subsidiaries
PacifiCorp and MidAmerican Energy Company own and operate more than 18,000
miles of electric transmission lines. 
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the
United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11
states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning
nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the
nation's largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network
that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all
other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP's transmission system directly
or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern
Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern
and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of
the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of
Texas. AEP's utility units operate as 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 and east Texas).
AEP's headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio. 
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 the registrants 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: electric load and customer growth; weather
conditions, including storms; available sources and costs of, and
transportation for, fuels and the creditworthiness and performance of fuel
suppliers and transporters; availability of generating capacity and the
performance of AEP's generating plants; AEP's ability to recover regulatory
assets and stranded costs in connection with deregulation; AEP's ability to
recover increases in fuel and other energy costs through regulated or
competitive electric rates; AEP's ability to build or acquire generating
capacity (including the company's ability to obtain any necessary regulatory
approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to
recover those costs through applicable rate cases or competitive rates; new
legislation, litigation and government regulation including requirements for
reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate
matter and other substances; 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 (including
disputes arising from the bankruptcy of Enron Corp. and related matters);
AEP's ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; the economic
climate and growth in AEP's service territory and changes in market demand and
demographic patterns; inflationary and interest rate trends; volatility in the
financial markets, particularly developments affecting the availability of
capital on reasonable terms and developments impairing AEP's ability to
refinance existing debt at attractive rates; AEP's ability to develop and
execute a strategy based on a view regarding prices of electricity, natural
gas and other energy-related commodities; 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 debt; volatility and changes in markets
for electricity, natural gas, coal, nuclear fuel and other energy-related
commodities; changes in utility regulation, including the potential for new
legislation in Ohio and the allocation of costs within regional transmission
organizations; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting
standard-setting bodies; the impact of volatility in the capital markets on
the value of the investments held by AEP's pension, other postretirement
benefit plans and nuclear decommissioning trust; prices for power that AEP
generates and sells at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with
respect to new, developing or alternative sources of generation; other risks
and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including
increased security costs), embargoes and other catastrophic events. 

SOURCE  American Electric Power 
Melissa McHenry, Manager, Corporate Media Relations, +1-614-716-1120; Analysts, 
Julie Sherwood, Director, Investor Relations, +1-614-716-2663, both of American 
Electric Power
-0- May/19/2008 18:00 GMT
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.