AEP expands national energy holdings in $1 billion deal

American Electric Power, the parent company of Public Service Company of Oklahoma is expanding its energy reach in a more than $1 billion purchase of Sempra Renewables LLC.

Sempra has 724 MW of wind and battery assets and is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. AEP will pay $1.056 billion for Sempra’s wind assets. The deal includes $551 million in cash, assumption of $343 million in existing project debt and $162 million in tax equity obligation.

Sempra Renewables jointly owns all of part of seven wind farms and one battery installation in seven states. Five of those wind ventures are jointly owned with BP Wind Energy, which will retain its ownership interest in those projects.

“Our long-term strategy is focused on diversifying our generation portfolio including expanding our ownership of renewable generation,” Nicholas Akins, AEP CEO, said in a statement. “We targeted $2.2 billion of capital investment in competitive, contracted renewables by 2023. Adding these high-quality renewable assets to our portfolio will achieve a significant portion of that goal this year.”

The seven operating wind farms are located in Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. They all have long-term, power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 100 percent of the energy produced with investment-grade investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and electric cooperatives.

The project PPAs have an average remaining life of 16 years. AEP operating units AEP Ohio, Indiana Michigan Power and Southwestern Electric Power Company have PPAs with two of the wind farms.

Those farms include the Black Oak Getty Wind project in Minnesota and the Apple Blossom Wind project in Michigan, as well as its interests in the following projects jointly owned with BP Wind Energy: Auwahi Wind in Hawaii (wind and battery storage), Flat Ridge 2 Wind in Kansas, Mehoopany Wind in Pennsylvania, Cedar Creek 2 Wind in Colorado, and Fowler Ridge 2 Wind in Indiana.

AEP’s competitive portfolio will grow to 1,302 MW of renewable generation in 11 states after close of the Sempra transaction and completion of Santa Rita, making AEP the seventh largest utility owner of competitive wind generation in the United States.

Sempra Renewables is a subsidiary of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, which has been focused on a series of divestments lately. Sempra announced plans to sell its stake in several South American utilities last month, while also selling its non-utility natural gas storage assets for about $332 million.

Sempra Energy owns San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Gas Co. and a controlling stake in Oncor Electric Delivery based in Texas

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