New wind facility now producing renewable energy for SWEPCO customers

SHREVEPORT- The first of three new wind facilities serving Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) customers in Louisiana and Arkansas has begun commercial operation.

The 199-megawatt (MW) Sundance facility is part of the 1,485-MW North Central Energy Facilities (NCEF) project in Oklahoma. SWEPCO customers in Louisiana and Arkansas will receive 810 MW from the project.

“This is an exciting next step toward our clean energy future,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “The Sundance, Maverick and Traverse facilities will bring significant long-term cost savings to our Louisiana and Arkansas customers while helping them meet their renewable energy and sustainability goals.”

The 287-MW Maverick and 999-MW Traverse facilities are under construction with planned commercial operations in late 2021 and early 2022, respectively. SWEPCO’s sister company, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, will receive 675 MW from the project.

The NCEF project will save SWEPCO customers approximately $2 billion over the 30-year expected life of the facilities

“We appreciate the support of the Louisiana Public Service Commission and Arkansas Public Service Commission, who approved the project last year and saw the tremendous value of more affordable, renewable energy for our customers,” Smoak said. “We look forward to pursuing more wind and solar power as part of our plans for a clean energy future.”

The allocation of SWEPCO’s 810 MW is approximately 464 MW for Louisiana, 268 MW for Arkansas and 78 MW for wholesale customers.

The facilities are being developed by Invenergy and purchased by SWEPCO and PSO at completion. SWEPCO and PSO are American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) companies.

SWEPCO’s investment in the total project is approximately $1.01 billion.

“These new wind farms in north-central Oklahoma tap into some of the best wind resources in the country,” Smoak said. “They are directly connected to the transmission grid that serves SWEPCO customers.”

The Sundance facility, located northwest of Aline in Woods County, includes 72 GE Renewable Energy wind turbines.

In addition to the renewable energy serving all Louisiana and Arkansas customers, customers will also have the option to purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) through the SWEPCO Renewable Energy Choice program. Proceeds from the REC sales flow back into fuel cost savings for the benefit of all Louisiana and Arkansas customers.

SWEPCO’s diverse energy resource mix currently includes 469 MW of wind energy under power purchase agreements with facilities in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

SWEPCO serves 543,000 customers in three states, including 233,000 in northwest and central Louisiana, 187,600 in northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle and 122,800 in western Arkansas.


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8 thoughts on “New wind facility now producing renewable energy for SWEPCO customers

  1. They didn’t mention how much federal money went into it so the purported savings to customers isn’t realistic. Sure hope they have backup generation for when they aren’t producing say like the great freeze of February 2021.

    • In order for wind power to be effective and cost saving, you must have wind. LOTS. OF WIND!

      There are areas with lots of wind, but not so much in Texas and Louisiana. Oklahoma has a lot of windy areas, so that, there were residents in that state that did not lose power and the freezing weather there lasted longer and was more brutal than Texas. Utility costs were not outrageous either. The excess wind kept the turbines from freezing.

      So I repeat, Oklahoma has lots of wind. My source of information is a person who lived during the great freeze in Oklahoma.

      I just hope people do not get all excited about more wind turbines, for the sake of having more wind power. Please carefully plan this by seeking the windest places in this nation or we will have another disaster in not having enough power.

      • The amount of wind will not make these fiberglass, carbon fiber and steel machines economical and they will never be as reliable as nuclear and fossil fueled plants.

        • Right Victor. I was remembering our Gov. said that our oil and gas jobs would be transferred to renewal sources of energy(wind, solar). And we would be using more of this type of power for our needs. Which I take to mean our state is going to develop these wind turbines here in our wind poor state.

          I think it could lead to disaster for Louisiana in many ways- economic, unemployment, insufficient power.

          • Old RN, it was really windy a couple of days last week. Let da man spend all that money to build them fancy wind turbines. We all know they will sit idle all summer, because there is never a breeze to be found in LAin the summer. You know what this is, something else that they say will work, but probably won’t. Put those turbines where they have lots of wind all year long. In Louisiana, they need something that will run on humidity. That would probably work just as well here. 😉

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