A massive $2 billion wind farm plan proposed by Public Service Company of Oklahoma as an alternative to its failed Wind Catcher project has the support of an administrative law judge at the Corporation Commission.
Jusfw Surin Murer heard testimony on Monday and afterward indicated he would urge the Corporation Commission to approve the plan to add 675 megawatts of additional wind power to PSO’s operations.
Commissioners Dana Murphy and Todd Hiett attended the hearing as PSO executives explained they intended to use the state’s existing power grid to transmit the electricity from project. If PSO gets approval from the commission, it intends to acquire 45.5% ownership of three farms being construction in Alfalfa, Blaine, Custer, Garfield, Kingfisher, Major and Woods counties. The acquisition cost would be an estimated $908 million.
The utility explained it would own the wind farmers jointly with sister utility, Southwestern Electric Power. Both were involved in the controversial Wind Catcher project that proposed moving electrical power from the Oklahoma Panhandle across a huge transmission line that was opposed by residents in northern Oklahoma and those near Tulsa.
PSO contends the project would save customers more than $1 billion in energy costs during a 30-year time period. The utility already has agreements to acquire wind powered electricity from existing projects.
The project will have to go before all 3 Corporation Commissioners.