American Electric Power (AEP) plans to expand and extend its commitment to voluntarily reduce, avoid or sequester its greenhouse gas emissions through to 2010.

In 2003, AEP committed to reduce or offset its greenhouse gas emissions by 1% in 2003, 2% in 2004, 3% in 2005 and 4% in 2006 below a baseline average of 1998 to 2001 emission levels. The group has now extended those measures to 4.25% in 2007, 4.5% in 2008, 5% in 2009 and 6% in 2010 below the same baseline.

The company has also confirmed that it will remain in the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the first voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction and trading system in North America

AEP has made efficiency improvements on its current generating fleet, retired inefficient gas-fired generation, enhanced nuclear generation performance and expanded its use of renewable generation. The company has also invested nearly $24 million in terrestrial sequestration projects.

In its next phase of emissions reduction the company is focussing on developing new technology to reduce emissions including a number of Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) clean-coal power plants and the ‘FutureGen’ project that plans to build a nearly emissions-free plant to produce electricity and hydrogen from coal while capturing and storing CO2 in geologic formations.