That $4.5 billion dollar wind farm announced this week by the American Electric Power Co. would turn out to be the largest in the U.S……one with 800 turbines.
PSO and its sister company, Southwestern Electric Power Co. are building the Wind Catcher Energy Connection near Guymon in the Panhandle. Electricity would be provided not only to PSO customers throughout the state but to other customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.
However, the company will have to win approvals from state regulatory bodies in Oklahoma,Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas as well as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If approved, the wind farm would provide nearly 9 million megawatt-hours of new wind energy.
The project will not only include the 2,000-megawatt wind farm but a nearly 350-mile extra-high voltage power line. However, it likely won’t be opposed by environmental groups, if a statement from the Sierra Club is any indication.
Al Armendariz, deputy director of the Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign was supportive of the wind project.
“The Wind Catcher project is expected to power millions of homes and businesses while saving customers across Oklahoma and the Gulf region billions of dollars,” he said. “We see this investment in Oklahoma’s future as further evidence that wind is simply a better deal for customers than dirty fuels like coal and gas.”
The project is also another indication that AEP, based in Columbus, Ohio is making a stronger focus on renewable energy.
CEO Nick Akins said his company “is moving to a cleaner energy future” and diversifying its generation mix.
“This project is consistent with our strategy of investing in the energy resources of the future, and it will save our customers money while providing economic benefits to communities,” Akin said.
While AEP’s subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Co. will own 70 percent of the project and 1,400 MW of wind, PSO will have 30 percent and 600 MW of wind.
The developer of the wind farm is Invenergy LLCP, a privately-held renewable energy company. The nation’s largest wind farm is the Roscoe Wind Farm about 45 miles southwest of Abilene, Texas.