SWEPCO moving forward with $2B renewable energy project  

By  10/12 Industry Report staff  businessreport.com  Tuesday, July 7, 2020

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 projects are expected to save customers in those three states approximately $3 billion over the next 30 years.

The decision to move forward with the projects 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 projects are 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 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. 

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The decision to move forward with the projects 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.

Texans want their energy to come out of the ground, not free wind blowing up from Mexico.

At least some Texas politicians and regulators do.  For the vast majority of Texans I think their cost of energy is the deciding factor.  If SWPCO, a regulated utility, makes the case for cheaper energy from renewabale sources, I won't be arguing against them. The company has no reason to advocate for something that would cost their customers more. 

In Texas, as in Louisiana, elected officials don't always vote with the welfare of the average person in mind.  The industry has spent decades and millions placing them in their debt and more often than not writes the legislative bills they attempt to pass.

Skip, I signed a lease for Coal and Lignite in Harrison County ,Tx.last June covering my interest in 60 acres in J. B. Hill Survey, A-298. SWEPCO Tract 1298-005.  Do you have any info on anything happening with this mine.

thanks,

Bob

Bob, not Harrison County.  We have a couple of lignite mines here in DeSoto Parish, just south of Shreveport, that I know a little about because they cover some very good Haynesville & Bossier shale rock.  Those mines serve the Cleco power plant in Boyce, LA.  I think the Harrison mine might be connected to the H. W. Pirkey power plant at Hallsville.  That is a SWEPCO plant so you should be able to go to the company website and read about the status of the plant.

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