AEP regularly engages with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) within the environmental community on issues ranging from our carbon profile, to new technologies and the evolution of our business model. In 2016, we held eight meetings with several NGOs on a variety of issues.
Top Issues in 2016
- Clean Power Plan
- Potential stranded assets associated with carbon risk
- AEP’s transformation
- Renewable energy
- Energy efficiency
- Ohio Purchased Power Agreement
- Regulatory reforms
- Carbon emissions
- Business model evolution
Groups We Engage With
- Clean Air Task Force
- Environmental Defense Fund
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Ohio Environmental Council
- Sierra Club
Although we do not always agree on all issues or positions, our relationships with these organizations are strong, and we are committed to building trusting relationships. In some cases, we can be at odds with an organization in one area while collaborating on something different elsewhere. This was the case in Ohio, when AEP and the Sierra Club worked together on a controversial Purchased Power Agreement. Although Sierra Club is well-known for its opposition to fossil fuels, it was supportive of this agreement, in large part, because it called for the development of at least 900 MW of wind and solar projects in the state over five years. It demonstrates that even unlikely allies can reach common ground. It was also made possible because we continually engage with the group nationally and in our jurisdictions. We remain committed to being transparent and responsive.
In April 2017, we convened a larger group of NGOs to talk about our ongoing transformation and to identify key criteria and potential projects for collaboration. Stakeholders were encouraged by our progress and pushed us to be vocal on policy matters relating to the clean energy transition.
What We Learned
- AEP’s story resonates and informs.
- AEP’s business transformation progress often comes as a positive surprise to stakeholders.
- Mutual recognition that we won’t agree on everything – but that open communications and information sharing really matter – it gives us insight into each other’s priorities
- General support exists for AEP’s strategy for resource diversity, including large-scale renewables.
- There is potential for collaboration on renewable projects and regulatory reforms to support clean energy transition.