American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) on Oct. 3 said that it will host 11 community open houses across northern and central Oklahoma to collect landowner and community input on preliminary study segments to help determine a line route for the Wind Catcher Energy Connection project that is designed to bring renewable energy and jobs to the state.
The open house events are set up in a workshop format, the company said, noting that attendees will be able to talk with project team members, review detailed maps, and provide information for use in determining the power line route.
Among others, the open houses will take place on Oct. 17 in Guymon, Okla.; Oct. 18 in Woodward, Okla.; Oct. 19 in Buffalo, Okla.; Oct. 23 in Perry, Okla.; Oct. 24 in Wynona, Okla.; and Oct. 25 in Cleveland, Okla.
The company also said that the $4.5bn project, which was announced in July, includes acquiring a wind farm in northwestern Oklahoma, an approximately 350-mile power line and two new substations.
PSO said that it and its sister company, Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), will partner on the project.
Development of the line route began in the summer, the company said, adding that the overall project is expected to deliver wind energy to customers by the end of 2020.
According to a project fact sheet that was updated on Oct. 1, the project is designed to bring 2,000 MW of new energy to customers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.
The wind farm to be acquired from Invenergy, LLC is under construction in the Oklahoma Panhandle, and features 800 GE 2.5-MW wind turbines located on 300,000 acres in Cimarron and Texas counties, the fact sheet noted.
The approximately 350-mile, extra high voltage 765-kV line would connect the two new substations, one located at the wind facility and the second one near Tulsa, Okla., the fact sheet noted.
PSO and SWEPCO will seek regulatory approvals in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, the fact sheet said, adding that SWEPCO will also seek FERC approval for how it recovers costs of the project from wholesale customers.
The typical height of the 765-kV structures would be 140 feet, and the typical right of way (ROW) width would be 200 feet, the fact sheet noted.
According to the project schedule, the final route determination and preliminary engineering activities would occur in early 2018; ROW acquisition would begin in spring 2018; construction would begin in early 2019; the project would be in service in late 2020; and ROW restoration would be complete in fall 2021.