Strategy for Growth
Discipline, continuous improvement, smart investment decisions and execution underpin our strategy for growth. We are adjusting to a number of new realities – stagnant demand for our product, a slow economic recovery, an abundance of low-cost shale gas, the need for a more resilient grid, retirement of approximately 6,600 MW of our coal units by 2016, new technologies that require greater grid flexibility, and increasing threats of physical and cyber-attacks on the grid. Yet, this is as much an exciting time as it is a challenging time for our business and our industry.
AEP is at a point in its history where it has capital to deploy because our environmental investments are nearly complete, giving us more flexibility to focus on growth areas of the company. We have a firm financial platform and a regulatory compact that supports investments in infrastructure and the customer experience. In addition to refurbishing the grid and building new infrastructure, our plan is to invest in technologies that improve reliability, operational efficiency and customer service. Our strategy is to bring our investments closer to what our customers value.
In many ways, the electric grid is a social safety net. Our strategy will strengthen this safety net to improve quality of life, customer satisfaction and system reliability, and provide our employees with a safe and engaging workplace that rewards entrepreneurship and collaboration.
Although our ability to invest may be hampered by new regulations, our intent is to operate a modern grid that is reliable and adaptable with new and emerging technologies. In addition, our communities will be vibrant, desirable places to live, work and operate a business; our shareholders will consider us a solid investment; we will provide secure, reliable and affordable electricity; we will be leaders in environmental stewardship; our stakeholders will want to stay engaged with us; and our philanthropic investments will lift people up and offer new opportunities. We have laid the foundation for the future and now we’re building the infrastructure.