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November 10, 2022

As the Company Transitions, So Do Employees

Behind a company making the transition to a cleaner tomorrow are employees making a similar and just as dramatic shift in their futures.

AEP is taking a leading role in the energy industry’s move away from traditional fossil-driven power to renewable resources, a change that’s being made possible at the generating level by employees looking to be at the forefront of this carbon-neutral path. Four team members in Oklahoma have come to AEP’s North Central Energy Facilities from three different coal and gas plants in the SWEPCO and PSO regions. Lance Hull and Russell Pitts, who lead the Traverse and Maverick wind parks, respectively,  Matt Miller, environmental coordinator, and James Hasley, technician, agreed the  direction of the company is clear when it comes to generating energy, and being a part of the future is a great opportunity.

“Knowing this was going to be the future of generation, I saw it as a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” said Miller, who was previously at the Northeastern plants near Tulsa. “I knew I wanted to stay in Oklahoma, and I decided this would be a good move to stay with the company and move into the future of generation. All the people we’ve pulled together for this team are great people to work with. It’s been an easy transition because of that.”

Pitts, who came over to North Central from the soon-to-retire Pirkey Power Plant in Texas, sees this transition to wind as a great opportunity to be laying the early groundwork for any similar wind farms to come at AEP. 

“Our group is building the foundation for the wind farms to come,” Pitts said of the three North Central wind farm teams, noting specifically standard work and procedures, as well as best practices and solutions to everyday issues that may occur. “I’m able to be part of something here that’s long term.”

They also offered counsel to current employees who might be facing a similar decision as generation plants approach retirement.

“Don’t sell yourself short thinking your skill sets might not work here,” Miller said. “We have a lot of people out here that have no history in wind that have come from coal and gas plants. And they’ve all had a great impact as soon as they started.”

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