American Electric Power Co. (AEP) will invest $12.7 million to establish its AEP Transmission operation in the City of Roanoke. AEP is modernizing, rebuilding, and expanding electricity transmission lines throughout its service area, covering 11 states and 200,000 miles.
AEP Transmission will occupy nearly 47,000 square feet on two floors of sister company Appalachian Power’s renovated facility in downtown Roanoke. The project will create 102 new, high-paying jobs, and 93 existing employees will also transfer to the downtown Roanoke location at 40 Franklin Road, SW.
In addition to the remodeling and repurposing of four of the building’s six floors for the new and current employees, Appalachian will construct a multi-level parking structure over part of its existing parking area to house vehicles for the new employees.
Construction and remodeling should be completed and all personnel in place by Spring 2019. The AEP Transmission employees will join 200 Appalachian Power employees with offices now in the Franklin Road building. Some AEP Transmission employees are currently housed at Appalachian Power’s John Vaughn Center near Exit 141 of Interstate-81 in Roanoke County.
“This project is a major win for Virginia, as the City of Roanoke transmission operation will manage the systematic upgrading and modernization of AEP’s entire grid, representing a $4 billion company investment across its service territory,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at the announcement event. “The rapid growth of AEP Transmission will create more than 100 high-paying, advanced degree jobs, and is spurring the revitalization of Appalachian Power’s unique facility in downtown Roanoke. AEP is a major player in the transition to renewable energy, and we are proud that the commonwealth will play a prominent role in the next generation of energy as we continue to diversify and build the new Virginia economy.”
AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system—a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined—and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to deliver power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states.
AEP is also one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 33,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,200 megawatts of renewable energy.
Appalachian Power has one million customers in Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power).
“The commonwealth’s energy industry has a direct economic output of $18.3 billion and is an important pillar of our economy, thanks to key contributors like AEP and Appalachian Power,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “The companies have been incredible corporate partners with the commonwealth for decades, and this significant expansion and investment reaffirms their commitment to Virginia. The addition of 102 highly skilled jobs and renovation of an existing asset downtown will add tremendous value to the city and the region.”
“Appalachian Power is pleased to welcome almost 200 AEP Transmission employees into our Franklin Road office space, which has been a fixture in downtown since 1947,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “Not only do we think this move of sister-company employees into our existing building will be beneficial to the workplace environment, but we see the influx of these new employees into downtown Roanoke as a benefit to its continued growth and vitality.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the City of Roanoke and the Roanoke Regional Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. VEDP will support AEP’s new job creation through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change to support employee training activities.
“The City of Roanoke appreciates AEP’s significant new investment in its Franklin Road facility,” said City of Roanoke Mayor Sherman P. Lea, Sr. “For 70 years Appalachian Power has a had a strong presence at this location. These new jobs demonstrate a continuing commitment to downtown and will be a great boost to the Roanoke economy.”
“AEP’s new investment will provide 102 high paying jobs to our region,” said Delegate Sam Rasoul. “This will encourage new economic growth in our region. We are glad to have AEP investing $12.7 million into the City of Roanoke.”