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American Electric's (AEP) 287 MW Wind Project Begins Operations

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American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP - Free Report) recently announced the commencement of operations at its Maverick Wind Energy Center project in north central Oklahoma. With a generation capacity of 287 megawatt (MW), this plant marks the initiation of American Electric’s second facility of the North Central Wind Project.

The commencement of the operation takes the company a step ahead in its planned $2-billion capital investment in the North Central Wind project, which is supposed to generate 1,485 MW of wind energy.

American Electric’s Initiatives in Wind Energy

With the entire Utility sector transitioning toward a greener environment, American Electric has been making significant investments in the wind energy space. To this end, it is imperative to mention that the company has plans to add approximately 10,685 MW of wind power projects by 2030, with an investment worth approximately $5.2 billion through 2025. Such investments are anticipated to boost American Electric’s earnings in the wind energy space.

The North Central Wind Project is in sync with American Electric’s strategy of expanding its renewable energy portfolio. As part of this project, the company aims to construct three wind generation facilities that will serve the customers of its subsidiaries, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) and Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Earlier in April, the company began operations of its first project, Sundance Wind Energy Center, which comes with a generating capacity of 199 MW. Meanwhile, the third project, Transverse Project, which has a power generation capacity of 999 MW, is expected to begin operations in early 2022.

The aforementioned projects, on completion, are expected to save $3 billion in electricity costs for the company’s customers, over the next 30 years. We believe, once completed, the North Central Wind Project will boost American Electric’s footprint in the expanding wind energy market.

Peer Moves

Per the latest short-term energy outlook released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration in September 2021, 17.6 gigawatts (GW) of new wind capacity is projected to come online in 2021, reflecting a 19.7% improvement over the 14.7 GW of new wind capacity added in 2020.

This embarks abundant growth opportunities for Utility companies in the wind energy space, which has resulted in other utilities, apart from American Electric, investing aggressively in the wind generation projects.

For instance, in April 2021, NextEra Energy Partners (NEP - Free Report) entered into a definite agreement with Brookfield Renewable Partner (BEP - Free Report) to acquire four operating wind assets from the latter for $733 million. The four wind assets have a combined capacity of 391 MW.

Similarly, Xcel Energy (XEL - Free Report) , after completing six wind projects with 1,500 MW capacities in 2020, bought three more projects with 499 MW capacities in the first six months of 2021. During the second quarter, the utility received an approval for buying 120-MW wind project from Allete.

Price Movement

In the year-to-date period, American Electric’s shares have gained 10.6% compared with the industry’s growth of 11%.

Zacks Investment Research
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Zacks Rank

American Electric currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.