SWEPCO: Louisiana regulators approve company’s request to add 810 MW of wind energy

SWEPCO on May 27 said that the project remains under regulatory review in Texas

American Electric Power’s Southwestern Electric Power Co., (SWEPCO) on May 27 said that the Louisiana Public Service Commission has approved the company’s request to add 810 MW of wind energy.

The commission on May 27 approved the terms of a settlement agreement reached in March by all parties in the proceeding, including SWEPCO; commission staff; the Alliance for Affordable Energy; and Walmart, Inc., the company said.

SWEPCO said that as part of the settlement, it plans to issue a request for proposals for up to 200 MW of solar generation resources to be located in the company’s service territory, with construction beginning in the next three years, under regulatory requirements and review.

The company noted that its wind project includes the acquisition of three wind facilities in north central Oklahoma — known as the North Central Energy Facilities — in conjunction with its sister company, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), which in February received final Oklahoma Corporation Commission approval of a settlement agreement in its plan to add 675 MW of wind energy.

SWEPCO noted that pending regulatory approvals, it will own 810 MW, or 54.5% of the 1,485-MW project. SWEPCO also noted that it and PSO will acquire the projects at their completion in 2020 and 2021.

SWEPCO said that the Louisiana commission approved an option that could increase Louisiana’s allocation to an estimated 464 MW from the original 268 MW. The company added that the Arkansas Public Service Commission also accepted an option to increase that state’s allocation when it approved the project earlier this month.

As TransmissionHub reported, AEP Chairman, President and CEO Nicholas Akins, during the company’s 1Q20 earnings call on May 6, said that the Arkansas commission on May 5 “approved the 155 MW, or approximately 10% of the total project,” along with an option that allows Arkansas to increase the megawatt allocation should another SWEPCO state reject the application.

SWEPCO on May 27 said that the project remains under regulatory review in Texas, and that FERC has approved the acquisition of the wind facilities by SWEPCO and PSO.

AEP, in a separate May 27 statement, noted that it will invest about $2bn in the new renewable energy to serve its SWEPCO and PSO customers.

Article amended at 7:22 p.m., EST, on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, to include AEP’s statement.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2888 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.