In response to the rapid growth in Texas' electricity market, on September 21 energy giant American Electric Power Co (AEP), of Columbus Ohio and the Lower Colorado River Authority announced an innovative partnership to construct a 150 mile portion of a proposed 345 kV power line in West Texas. The $90 million transmission line will serve as a major conduit of power from wind farms in West Texas as well as for natural gas produced in the Permian Basin to the state's population centres in the east of the state. AEP is no stranger to the region. A leading power wholesaler, marketer and trader, it merged recently with Texas utility Central and Southwest. It also owns two Texas utilities, Central Power and Light and West Texas Utilities.