7/1/1999

AEP Passes Major Y2K Milestone; Utility Upbeat, but not Relaxing

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 1, 1999 -- Systems critical for keeping the lights on at the homes and businesses of American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) 3 million customers have been tested and are Y2K ready for the new year. "We've passed our June 30 milestone for having AEP's mission-critical and high-priority systems Y2K ready, and only two of those systems remain to be completed," said Joe Valentine, vice president and director of the year 2000 project. Valentine credited the Y2K team, the Y2K business unit coordinators and other employees for reaching the milestone. The company began its Y2K work in 1996 and will continue operations into next year to monitor and successfully complete the transition. AEP's readiness activities included testing of the main control systems at all 47 fossil-powered generating units. Testing of the main control systems, which govern combustion and emissions cleaning processes, involved setting the systems’ clocks for various conditions and time transitions and then observing their operations. The systems successfully performed all date transitions, and two units continue to operate with the date set for 2000 to continue to check for problems. "Through our extensive testing of mission-critical and high-priority systems we have found no major problems that pose a threat to providing our customers safe and reliable energy. But, this is no time to relax," Valentine said. Two mission-critical systems yet to be completed include a gas measurement system at Louisiana Intrastate Gas, a 2,000-mile intrastate pipeline system owned by AEP; and a meteorological reporting system at Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Mich. Both systems are scheduled to be Y2K ready before January 1. During the remainder of 1999, the Y2K team and other areas of the company will also focus on contingency planning and integration testing. Valentine explained integration testing by noting that individual components of the AEP system have been thoroughly tested, but those components have not been tested as a unit. The AEP Y2K team will examine a portion of the critical systems in their entirety and observe how individual components will react with each other after Dec. 31. Contingency planning involves mapping alternate courses of action for maintaining operations should the AEP system be affected by Y2K events. The top considerations in all Y2K contingency planning are safety, keeping the lights on, customer service and business continuity. Examples of contingency planning being implemented include having employees on duty to anticipate and respond to potential Y2K challenges, additional coal supplies and operating with additional power generation reserves. AEP has submitted its 32-step Y2K contingency plan to the East Central Area Reliability Council, one of the ten regional reliability councils in the North American Electric Reliability Council. All of AEP's service territory is contained within the ECAR region. NERC has been asked by the U.S. Department of Energy to oversee the Y2K readiness of North America’s interconnected electrical power systems. “With the June 30 milestone behind us and the focus shifting to integration testing and contingency planning, we are confident that any interruptions in service caused by the calendar change to Jan. 1, 2000, will be isolated and short in duration,” Valentine said. Y2K refers to disruptions that could occur if computer systems cannot distinguish between the years 1900 and 2000. In order to save space, earlier computers were programmed to read only the last two digits of a date, such as “99” for 1999. When the calendar changes to 2000, computer systems may believe it is 1900 and malfunction or even shut down. AEP, a global energy company, is one of the United States' largest investor-owned utilities, providing energy to 3 million customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. AEP has holdings in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia. Wholly owned subsidiaries provide power engineering, energy consulting and energy management services around the world. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio. On Dec. 22, 1997, AEP announced a definitive merger agreement for a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction with Central and South West Corp., a public utility holding company based in Dallas. This is a Year 2000 readiness disclosure. This material is provided to help you understand the Y2K issue and AEP’s response to it. It is not intended as a specific representation or warranty with respect to AEP’s Y2K readiness.

For More Information, Contact: Jeri Waters Media Relations American Electric Power 614/223-1917

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