American Electric Power Co.’s plan to develop nearly 1,500 megawatts of wind energy capacity in Oklahoma is set to carry on, as the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) gave the green light for what AEP estimated it will be a $2 billion investment. The plan had its tweaks, as PUCT rejected a request made by Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO)—a subsidiary of AEP—to serve Texas customers with electricity produced at the upcoming development.
The North Central Energy Facilities is a group of three wind energy projects to be developed by Invenergy in north-central Oklahoma over the course of two years. Specifically, the three wind farms will consist of the 999-megawatt Traverse Wind Energy Center, the 288-megawatt Maverick Wind Project and the 199-megawatt Sundance Wind Project.
Power to Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma
SWEPCO, which serves customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, will own 54.5 percent interest, or the equivalent of 810 megawatts, but the wind energy will be split among customers from Louisiana and Arkansas (464MW and 268MW, respectively), with the remaining 78MW for wholesale customers.
Public Service Co. of Oklahoma—another AEP subsidiary—will buy the remaining 45.5 percent stake in the wind parks, or 675 megawatts. The Arkansas and Louisiana commissions approved provisions to increase the number of megawatts allocated to them if one state does not approve the proposal. The three wind projects are estimated to save customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma approximately $3 billion over the next 30 years.
Back in 2018, PUCT’s rejection has put an end to another AEP project that was slated to be the largest wind farm in the U.S. the 2,000-megawatt Wind Catcher project, estimated to cost $4.5 billion. The current North Central Energy Facilities comes as a response to the Wind Catcher dismissal.