Arkansas regulators have approved Southwestern Electric Power adding 810 megawatts of wind energy as part of a bigger 1,485-megawatt wind project that will serve four states, Kallanish Energy reports.
The request by the company, a subsidiary of Oho-based American Electric Power, was approved this week by the Arkansas Public Service Commission.
The state agency modified and approved a unanimous settlement agreement that had been filed last January.
SWEPCO and its sister company, Public Service Commission of Oklahoma, have proposed acquiring three wind facilities under construction in north-central Oklahoma.
Pending remaining regulatory approvals in Texas and Louisiana, SWEPCO will own 810 megawatts or 54.5% of the 1,485-megawatt project with an investment of $1.01 billion.
SWEPCO and PSO will acquire the wind properties when they are complete in 2020 and 2021.
Customers of the two utilities will save more than $3 billion over the 30-year life of the new facilities, the companies said.
Under the plan, Arkansas would get about 155 megawatts of wind power from the project and perhaps as much as 268 megawatts, depending on regulatory approvals in Texas and Louisiana.
PSO got approval from Oklahoma regulators in February to add 675 megawatts of wind energy or 45.5% of the 1,485-megawatt project.
Acquiring the wind facilities has cost AEP and its subsidiaries about $2 billion.
The Oklahoma wind farms are being developed by Invenergy.
The wind farms include a 999-megawatt facility being built north of Weatherford, a 287-megawatt facility being built southwest of Enid and a 199-megawatt facility being built south of Alva.
The company said the three facilities were chosen after it made a competitive request for proposals to secure wind farm options.
The 199-megawatt facility is due to be completed by the end of 2020. The other two projects will be completed by the end of 2021,
Collectively, the three wind projects would provide more than 5.7 million megawatt hours of new wind annually to serve customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
The purchase of the Oklahoma wind farms came after AEP had cancelled the $4.5 billion Wind Catcher Energy Connection wind farm and transmission line.
It was canceled in July 2018 after the Texas Public Utility Commission voted against the project, the largest planned wind farm in the nation with an estimated 2-gigawatt production capacity.
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