Regulators Deny Proposed Deal For Solar Farm

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Utility regulators have nixed a deal between American Electric Power Co. and a massive solar farm planned for southeast Ohio, putting the project's future in jeopardy.

An official said AEP-Ohio is disappointed in Wednesday's ruling by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The 3-1 vote went against the recommendation of commission staff.

Regulators said the utility hadn't demonstrated the Turning Point project benefited ratepayers and was necessary to meet its renewable energy requirements. The solar farm planned near the wildlife conservancy called The Wilds was expected to create hundreds of jobs and produce enough electricity to power 25,000 homes.

AEP had agreed to purchase power from the facility for 20 years to help fulfill state renewable energy rules. The PUCO ruling blocked that arrangement.

AEP could ask for a rehearing.