KENTUCKY (WOWK) – American Electric Power is planning to sell its Kentucky operations to another company, according to AEP officials.

Officials say the company announced today its Kentucky operations would be sold to Liberty, which is a regulated utility business of parent company Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. This sell will include Kentucky Power.

According to AEP, regulators including the Kentucky Public Service Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must approve the sale. The company says it hopes the transaction will close sometime in the second quarter of 2022.

The company says they are currently emailing customers to make sure they know about the agreement, but customers will not need to take any action at this time. Customers can still report any outages or safety hazards and send their bill payments to Kentucky Power. According to AEP, the Kentucky PSC will still regulate rates through their normal process.

“We will work with Liberty to make the transition as seamless as possible for our customers and community members,” the company says.

Company officials say they began “conducting a strategic review of its Kentucky operations” in April, which they said included a potential sale.

According to AEP, when the sale is finalized, the 360 employees of Kentucky Power and Big Sandy Plant as well as some AEP staff who directly support Kentucky Power’s operations will also transfer to Liberty as employees.

AEP says they will continue to operate the Mitchell Plant through the Wheeling Power subsidiary, pending regulatory approval of new plant ownership and operating agreements. They plan to file those documents this year and the 200 employees at the Mitchell Plant will be transferred from Kentucky Power to Wheeling Power. The company says through 2028, Liberty will own and obtain power from Kentucky Power’s 50% portion of the plant.

 “Kentucky Power and its employees are an important part of the communities in eastern Kentucky, and I am grateful for their valuable contributions to AEP,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Liberty’s commitment to safety and operational excellence will allow Kentucky Power employees to continue their critical work producing and delivering reliable power for customers and communities. At the same time, the sale will strengthen AEP’s ability to invest in projects that will support a resilient, cleaner energy system.”