Gov. John Bel Edwards and American Electric Power Chairman, President and CEO Nicholas Akins announced that AEP, which manages the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, will invest $100 million to develop a new Shreveport Transmission Control Center (STCC). The project will create 20 direct new jobs, with average salaries of $115,000, and retain 20 jobs already in place in Shreveport. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 63 indirect jobs, for more than 80 new jobs in the Northwest Region.
AEP, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, will develop the 77,000 square foot facility on 30 acres in Shreveport. The STCC will control the operations of AEP’s transmission system in the Southwest Power Pool regional power grid and work in collaboration with the AEP Transmission Control Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, to control the operations of AEP’s transmission system in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) power grid. The facility will also support the real time operational technology hardware and software required to assess, monitor and support the entirety of AEP’s national transmission grid.
“Louisiana residents know the importance of a stable, reliable utility system, and the investments that American Electric Power is making in our state will increase the energy resilience of the entire Gulf Coast,” said Gov. Edwards. “I am confident that AEP will find a highly-skilled workforce in Shreveport. This new project will bring high-paying jobs and new economic activity for the northwest region of Louisiana, as well as increased confidence in our vital utilities.”
The STCC will feature a new substation, additional electric grid infrastructure, and state-of-the-art equipment. Construction of the site will begin in the first quarter of 2022, with the start of operations projected for mid-year 2023.
“Assessing, monitoring and controlling the transmission grid and dispatching power plants is critical to keeping the power flowing to our customers,” Akins said. “It requires access to high-speed data networks and reliable power. We are excited to be the first facility to break ground in Resilient Technology Park and to be able to showcase the investments that have brought fiber optic data lines and other critical infrastructure to the area.”
Resilient Technology Park, located near I-20 and Greenwood Road, is one of more than 100 available sites certified by LED for industrial projects. The STCC will be located in the northwest quadrant of the 313-acre park.
AEP is one of the largest electric energy companies in the U.S. It owns or operates over 60 generating stations across the country, with a combined capacity of approximately 30,000 megawatts. AEP is the parent company of Southwestern Electric Power Company, which is the leading electric utility for the broader Shreveport area, and also services parts of Texas and Arkansas.
“This is an exciting announcement for the City of Shreveport. We remain dedicated to creating new employment opportunities for our citizens,” Mayor Adrian Perkins said. “American Electric Power’s investment in Shreveport with the development of a Transmission Control Center gives our residents access to new high paying jobs and addresses long-term needs for our community. Our Office of Economic Development will continue attracting new corporate investments to Shreveport and working with companies to facilitate future expansion and growth.”
Louisiana faced competition for the new transmission center. To secure the project in Shreveport, the state offered AEP a competitive incentive package that includes a $1 million performance-based award for infrastructure costs. Additionally, the company is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs program.
“AEP’s expanded investment in North Louisiana is a huge benefit for economic development in the region,” said Justyn Dixon, President & CEO of North Louisiana Economic Partnership. They are adding quality, high-paying jobs to North Louisiana by standing up the Shreveport Transmission Control Center. This project also brings competitive economic development opportunities by adding critical infrastructure to the new Resilient Technology Park. These improvements will assist us in attracting future jobs and capital investments for our region and is a victory for all. These exciting opportunities would not be possible without the dedication of our partners including the City of Shreveport, Caddo Parish Commission, and Louisiana Economic Development.”
The Caddo Parish Commission and the City of Shreveport are both awarding performance-based grants that will be dedicated to infrastructure improvements at the industrial park, specifically addressing road, water, and wastewater improvements. The City of Shreveport Departments of Engineering, Water and Sewerage, and Public Works were instrumental in the design and execution of these infrastructure improvements.
“We are excited to welcome AEP’s new Transmission Control Center to Caddo Parish,” said Caddo Commission President John E. Atkins. “AEP’s $100 million dollar investment creates additional direct and indirect high paying jobs for our citizens and enhances the economic landscape in Caddo Parish. We look forward to the opportunities that this investment will provide.”
“I am thrilled that AEP chose Shreveport for this Transmission Control Center,” said Commissioner Foster Campbell. “Their big investment into the community will benefit not only Shreveport, but all of the AEP footprint. This $100 million dollar investment is a big plus for the entire state of Louisiana.”