American Electric Power, Sempra launch sustainable finance frameworks

American Electric Power – operator of the nation’s largest electricity transmission system – announced on Monday the launch of a Sustainable Finance Framework (SFF) to support the funding of social and environmental projects.

San Diego-based energy infrastructure giant Sempra announced a similar SFF last week. By issuing bonds, loans, or other financial instruments, the companies hope to support clean energy and socially conscious projects in the pursuit of net-zero emissions.

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“AEP’s vision for a brighter energy future focuses on reducing our environmental footprint, while empowering vibrant communities,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “This framework will help support ongoing initiatives as we make strategic investments to advance our clean energy plans and deliver tangible value to our customers, communities and investors.”

AEP outlined projects that would be eligible for investment through the financial instruments to include:

Acquiring/developing wind and solar energy projects
Optimizing transmission and distribution infrastructure to support interconnection of renewable resources
Researching and developing technologies to reduce emissions
Improving grid resiliency and energy efficiency
Deploying advanced metering infrastructure
Implementing electric vehicle incentives and infrastructure programs, converting AEP fleet to EVs
Expanding broadband internet service to rural and underserved areas
Empowering equity for minorities through the procurement of products and services from small and minority-owned businesses

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Sempra is attempting to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its entire business by 2050.

“At Sempra, we are excited about our role in advancing clean, safe and resilient energy systems for today, and for the future,” said Lisa Alexander, senior vice president of corporate affairs and chief sustainability officer for Sempra. “Across our companies, we are working to capture new opportunities to grow our transmission and distribution business for the betterment of all our stakeholders, with a focus on investments in safety, as well as decarbonization, diversification and digitalization of our energy systems.”

Eligible projects for Sempra’s SFF include investments in the following categories:

Clean transportation
Climate change adaption
Energy efficiency
Clean energy solutions
Green Buildings
Pollution prevention and control
Socio-economic advancement and empowerment