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AEP Ohio Proposes New Rate Structure to Support Data Centers and Protect Residential Customers

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GAHANNA, Ohio – AEP Ohio, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP), announced today its submission to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, in docket 24-508-EL-ATA, of a proposal aimed at creating a specialized rate category for data center clients and cryptocurrency mining/mobile data center operations. The proposed rate framework seeks to ensure reliable grid resources for data centers while safeguarding the interests of residential customers.

According to Marc Reitter, President and Chief Operating Officer of AEP Ohio, the surge in demand for computing power, driven by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, has led to unprecedented electricity consumption by data centers. This surge is particularly notable in Central Ohio, where AEP Ohio is witnessing a substantial influx of data center customers.

Under the proposed structure, new data centers with loads exceeding 25 megawatts (MW) and cryptocurrency mining operations/mobile data centers with loads surpassing 1 MW would be required to meet specific criteria before construction commences. Crucially, data centers would be obligated to commit to paying for a minimum of 90% of their monthly energy requirements over a 10-year period, regardless of actual usage.

The exponential growth of data center development in AEP Ohio’s service territory, notably in Central Ohio, has resulted in a significant uptick in electricity demand. Forecasts indicate that by 2030, electricity demand in Central Ohio could double, rivalling that of Manhattan. To accommodate this burgeoning demand, substantial investments in extra-high voltage transmission lines are necessary, a process that typically spans 7-10 years from planning to completion.

Reitter highlighted AEP Ohio’s pivotal role in facilitating economic growth and job creation in Ohio by providing reliable electricity infrastructure to support data center operations. The proposed rate structure aims to ensure that data center developers fulfill their commitments as AEP Ohio invests in expanding transmission capabilities to meet their burgeoning energy needs.

The proposed rate structure provides AEP Ohio and its customers with clarity and predictability in planning long-term strategies, while also outlining clear obligations for data center and cryptocurrency mining clients.

AEP Ohio, headquartered in Gahanna, Ohio, serves approximately 1.5 million customers and is a subsidiary of American Electric Power. Further information about AEP Ohio can be accessed at AEPOhio.com.