PSO withdraws from proposed $4.5 billion Wind Catcher wind farm project

With the wind out of its sails at the hands of a Texas regulatory body, Public Service Company of Oklahoma has dropped plans to develop a $4.5 billion dollar Wind Catcher wind farm in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

It would have been the largest wind farm to be constructed in the U.S. Considering the magnitude of the project and the controversial efforts related to the transmission lines, it was a brief announcement.

“Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) today announced it is no longer pursuing its proposed Wind Catcher Energy Connection project following a decision by the Public Utility Commission of Texas on July 26 to deny approval of the project.,” said the company.


“We are disappointed with the decision in Texas that resulted in the cancelation of the project. Wind Catcher represented an extraordinary opportunity to provide our customers with low cost, clean Oklahoma energy and create a positive economic impact across the state,” said Steven Fate, PSO Vice President of Regulatory and Finance. “We remain committed to finding new solutions that add value for our customers. All of us at PSO deeply appreciate our partners and supporters for their commitment to the project.”

The project had previously received approvals by the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Louisiana Public Service Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A decision was pending at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

Announced a year ago, the $4.5 billion project would have provided PSO customers with low cost wind energy from a 2,000 megawatt wind farm in the Oklahoma panhandle. Combined with a dedicated power line to deliver the energy, Wind Catcher would have lowered electric bills by $2 billion over the life of the project, created thousands of jobs during construction and generated hundreds of millions in much-needed tax revenue for the state.

But the project encountered opposition in Osage County where it was denied approval of massive transmission lines that would have carried electricity from the Panhandle to the eastern part of the state.

After attempting to relocate the lines in Tulsa county, PSO ran into bitter opposition from residents of Bixby.  Attorney General Mike Hunter joined the efforts of the residents to fight the line and endorsed their opposition.