PSO announces 360-mile route for $4.5bn Wind Catcher Energy Connection project

American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) on Jan. 3 announced the approximately 360-mile route for the $4.5bn Wind Catcher Energy Connection project.

The company noted that after considering multiple alignments and study segments, the line generally follows a more northerly route among the line routes considered.

The project – which is a joint effort between PSO and Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) – is designed to harness wind energy from the western panhandle of Oklahoma and deliver it to customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma, as well as parts of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, the company said.

According to the Wind Catcher Energy Connection website, the 2,000-MW Wind Catcher facility, developed by Invenergy, will generate power from 800 GE 2.5-MW turbines. Construction began in 2016, and operations are expected to begin in 2020, the website noted.

A PSO spokesperson on Jan. 5 told TransmissionHub that the Wind Catcher wind farm is being built in the Oklahoma panhandle within an area that encompasses about 300,000 acres straddling the border of Cimarron and Texas counties. 

The proposed 360-mile route for the power line will cross parts or all of 13 counties, all in Oklahoma, beginning in Cimarron County and then crossing Texas County, Beaver County, Harper County, Woodward County, Woods County, Major County, Alfalfa County, Garfield County, Noble County, Pawnee County and Osage County before terminating in Tulsa County, he said. The substation where the proposed route will terminate in Tulsa County will be built as part of the project, he noted.

PSO said in its statement that as part of the power line routing process, it took public input on potential line routes. PSO noted that it held 11 open houses across northern Oklahoma in the fall, and collected comments.

The company said that it will begin working with landowners along the portions of the line route needing additional study this month. There are three segments along the proposed route where the company will collect additional landowner and community comment before making refinements to those areas, PSO said. Three community open houses are scheduled this month:

  • Jan. 29 in Pawnee
  • Jan. 30 in Woodward
  • Jan. 31 in Enid

Development of the line route began last summer, PSO added, noting that the overall project is expected to deliver wind energy to customers by the end of 2020.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.