Wind Energy

Published on May 20th, 2020 | by greentechheadlines

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SWEPCO wind project receives regulatory approval in Arkansas

SWEPCO wind project receives regulatory approval in Arkansas

Southwestern
Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power company, said on
Tuesday that it received approval from Arkansas Public Service Commission
(APSC) for its mammoth wind energy project.

SWEPCO is
proposing three wind facilities at North Central Energy Facilities, in
Oklahoma, in conjunction with its sister company, Public Service Company of
Oklahoma (PSO). SWEPCO will own 810 MW (about 55%) of the 1,485-MW project with
an investment of $1.01 billion and PSO will own 675 megawatts of wind energy
(about 45%) of the 1,485 MW project.

SWEPCO,
whose service territory is spread across three states, is also seeking approval
of its proposal from utility regulators in Louisiana and Texas. The proposal is
scalable to align with regulatory approvals by state, subject to commercial
limitations. The states that approve the project would have the ability to
increase the number of megawatts allocated to them if one state does not
approve the proposal.

The Arkansas
share of the project is estimated to be 155 MW and could increase to 268
depending on the regulatory approvals in Louisiana and Texas.

The projects
are estimated to be complete in 2020 and 2021 at which time the SWEPCO and PSO
will take ownership of them.

SWEPCO
customers will save an estimated $2 billion over the 30-year expected life of
the new facilities, according to the company.

SWEPCO and
all Louisiana parties reached a unanimous settlement agreement in March 2020,
now pending at the Louisiana Public Service Commission. The parties are
continuing to work through the process in Texas.

Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the wind facilities by SWEPCO
and PSO.

The APSC’s
May 5 modification settlement agreement specified that cost recovery for the
project will be through the company’s formula rates, which all parties have
accepted.

Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer
said, “The Arkansas Public Service Commission has demonstrated a strong
commitment to renewable energy, and the parties in this proceeding recognize
the many benefits of clean energy and long-term savings for the families,
businesses and communities we serve.”

“We know this project is important to many of our customers –
like Walmart, the City of Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas and many
other companies, communities and individuals – who are looking to SWEPCO to
help them meet their own sustainability and renewable energy goals,” Smoak added.

On May 5,
APSC modified and approved provisions of a unanimous settlement agreement filed
Jan. 24, 2020, by the APSC General Staff, the Office of Arkansas Attorney
General Leslie Rutledge, Walmart, Inc. and SWEPCO.


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