January 8, 2019 Read More →

American Electric Power takes another swing at adding Midwestern wind power capacity

E&E News ($):

Two units of American Electric Power Co. announced requests for wind energy proposals yesterday, less than six months after the company decided to cancel its $4.5 billion Wind Catcher project.

The new approach reflects continued interest in wind at AEP’s Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) and Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), despite Texas regulators’ rejection of a Wind Catcher application last year.

That AEP project called for acquiring a 2,000-megawatt wind farm that Invenergy LLC had been working on in Oklahoma, with about 1,400 MW slated for SWEPCO and 600 MW linked to PSO. The plan also envisioned a 765-kilovolt power line, which would have run hundreds of miles in Oklahoma.

Now, SWEPCO is requesting proposals for as much as 1,200 MW of wind energy that would be in commercial operation by Dec. 15, 2021. The plans must have a nameplate rating of at least 100 MW and are due March 1, SWEPCO said. The company said it’s looking to acquire new or existing projects that qualify for at least 80 percent of a federal production tax credit.

Another requirement, according to SWEPCO, is that projects will need to be interconnected to the Southwest Power Pool grid in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas or Oklahoma. The new approach to wind expansion is different from Wind Catcher in part because it involves a competitive process.

PSO, which operates in parts of Oklahoma, said yesterday that it’s also seeking proposals for wind resources that would be operating commercially by late 2021. Stan Whiteford, a PSO spokesman, said the amount of wind pursued by the company will depend on what the responses show and could be in the hundreds of megawatts. Whiteford said PSO already has more than 1,100 MW of wind under contract through power purchase deals.

More ($): AEP looks again to wind after $4.5B plan flops

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