American Electric Power is investing $2 billion to bring renewable energy to customers in Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
The major utility group based in Ohio is purchasing three wind generation facilities being developed by Invenergy in north central Oklahoma. Using GE wind turbines, the facilities will supply 675 megawatts of power to AEP utility Public Service Co. of Oklahoma and 810 megawatts to its Southwestern Electric Power Co. utility. The project is expected to save customers in those three states approximately $3 billion over the next 30 years.
The decision to move forward with the North Central project comes despite the Public Utility Commission of Texas’ decision last week to deny SWEPCO’s plan to add 309 megawatts of wind energy to serve Texas customers. The project is scheduled for completion over the course of the next two years.
The Arkansas and Louisiana Public Service Commissions approved the projects in May, and PSO received approval from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in February. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also approved the acquisitions in February.
PSO will acquire 675 MW of the North Central wind projects to serve its customers in Oklahoma. The Arkansas and Louisiana commissions approved options to increase their allocations of wind energy if another state did not approve the projects. With these options, an estimated 464 MW will be allocated to Louisiana and 268 MW to Arkansas, while wholesale customers will benefit from 78 MW for a total of 810 MW that will serve SWEPCO’s customers.