AEP Forestry announces its first tree farm for Texas

SHREVEPORT, La. March 18, 2008 – AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company´s (SWEPCO) Welsh Power Plant property near Cason, Texas, will be home to American Electric Power´s (AEP) first tree farm in Texas. The designated 1,000 acres at Welsh will be part of over 105,000 acres at AEP certified under the American Tree Farm System.

AEP´s first tree farm was established in Ohio and the goal is to promote timber health, sales and development of acreage for public use on over 250,000 acres across the corporation´s 11 states. AEP has planted some 63 million trees since the late 1940s, and became part of the tree farm system in 1983. The Welsh plant sits on a 3,200-acre site and tree farm land management will occur along the shores of the 1,350-acre man-made lake built in the 1970s to serve the plant´s water needs.

David Oliver, AEP forester, said, "We were able to partner with Hudson Old, an adjacent property owner to Welsh, on his abundant timber land and set up a management plan that provided access to excellent pine and hardwood forests."

Welsh plant employees also take part in a number of environmental stewardship projects, such as maintaining wood duck boxes on the lake, planting wildlife food plots and enhancing fish populations by sinking recycled Christmas trees. Welsh personnel support area high school students as they compete in forestry and soils competitions on site. Each summer, the Welsh plant hosts teachers for an environmental sciences workshop by Texas A&M University. "The tree farm certification promotes responsible forest stewardship and protects wildlife, soils and water," adds Jennifer Meyer, plant environmental coordinator at Welsh.

"Tree farms have existed in Texas since the 1940s, and there are over 12 million trees across 43 counties in the State, making it tops in the nation," said Ron Hufford, executive vice president of the Texas Forestry Association, of which SWEPCO became a member this year. A volunteer committee inspects some 2,000 certified tree farms to make sure good stewardship practices are in place.

SWEPCO serves 467,000 customers in three states, including 177,000 in Texas. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at www.swepco.com

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation´s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation´s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP´s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP´s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP´s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

Scott McCloud
Corporate Communications