Here is the AEP press release in response to yesterday’s SCC decision which did not approve the transfer of half of Ohio Power’s Mitchell plant to Appalachian Power.
Note that AEP states that if APCo is not allowed to acquire the Mitchell plant share, the APCo/Wheeling Power merger may not happen. Wheeling Power, which has no generation of its own, would simply continue to purchase power from the Mitchell plant, as it has for years. The half of the plant that AEP wanted to transfer to APCo would either continue being run by Ohio Power or would be transferred to AEP’s merchant generation subsidiary, AEP Generation Resources. As the press release notes, FERC has already approved the transfer of Wheeling Power’s current power purchase agreement to another owner of Mitchell, if required.
AEP states that it will continue to work with regulators in both states, implying that the company will still try to talk the East Virginia SCC into approving the transfer of half of the Mitchell plant to APCo, as originally planned.
That task is now more difficult with the SCC’s publicly stated position. It seems that AEP is already looking for a Plan B with its statement that the Wheeling Power/APCo merger may not happen, even though the SCC did approve that part of AEP’s plan.