SWEPCO Seeking Proposals For 1.2 Gigawatts Of Wind

Jan 11, 2019 by

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January 11th, 2019 by 

The Southwestern Electric Power Company announced on Monday that it was seeking proposals for up to 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of wind energy to be brought into commercial operation by the end of 2021.

What makes this even more impressive is that the announcement comes only five months after its 2 GW Wind Catcher proposal was denied regulatory approval in Texas.

The Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), a subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP), announced on January 7 that it is requesting proposals for up to 1,200 megawatts (MW) of wind energy resources to be in commercial operation by December 15, 2021. Further, projects must have a minimum nameplate capacity of 100 MW and be submitted by March 1, 2019. SWEPCO is aiming to acquire new or existing projects that qualify for at least 80% of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC).

“SWEPCO continues to see strong customer interest in more renewable energy to meet their sustainability and renewable energy goals,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “At the same time, SWEPCO is seeking proposals that will save customers money and further diversify our energy resource mix.”

Proposed projects must be located in and interconnected to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) regional grid in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, or Oklahoma, and will join the existing 469 MW of wind energy SWEPCO has already secured through multiple Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) from Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

The request for proposals comes only five months after the Texas Public Utility Commission denied regulatory approval for American Electric Power’s 2 GW Wind Catcher project. Originally announced in July of 2017 by Invenergy, North America’s largest independent and privately-held renewable energy company, and GE Renewable Energy, Wind Catcher would have been the world’s second largest wind farm and the United States’ largest (although, that figure may have been contested by MidAmerican Energy’s Wind XI projectwhich is being built across Iowa).

AEP pulled the plug on Wind Catcher in August of 2018 after being denied regulatory approval in Texas, lamenting the decision which ran in the face of approval already granted from the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Louisiana Public Service Commission, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “We are disappointed that we will not be able to move forward with Wind Catcher, which was a great opportunity to provide more clean energy, lower electricity costs and a more diverse energy resource mix for our customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer, said at the time. “To realize the full benefits of Wind Catcher for customers, timely approvals were required from all jurisdictions so we could complete the project by the end of 2020 and be eligible for 100% of the federal production tax credit. We want to thank our employees and our partners for all of their work on the development of the Wind Catcher project.”

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