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.