18 January 2007 -- OG&E Electric Services filed with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission the first part of a six-year construction initiative that is estimated to include up to $3.3 billion in major projects designed to expand capacity, enhance reliability and improve environmental performance.
OG&E's proposal begins with construction of the Red Rock coal-fired power plant, a 950-MW generating unit planned in partnership with AEP-Public Service of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority to meet growing consumer demand for electric power.
The Red Rock facility is planned to be adjacent to OG&E's Sooner Power Plant facilities in northern Oklahoma. OG&E's share will be about $759 million of the projected $1.8 billion construction cost for the plant.
The Red Rock project features a new steam-generation unit designated as ultra super critical. Red Rock is the second plant to be built in the United States that will use this new technology that has been proven to enhance efficiency for coal-fired power generation.
The company is reserving space adjacent to Red Rock that can be used for what it called "next-generation technology" when it is available. Brian Alford, spokesman for OG&E, said this designated space would be used for future technology that would capture carbon. "As carbon capture comes closer to becoming a reality, we want to be ready to implement the technology that comes along. We are watching some EPRI pilot projects very closely to see what viable technology may come in the near future." Alford said the specific project OG&E is watching is a collaborative carbon capture pilot project at We Energies' Pleasant Prairie plant in Wisconsin. Alstom is also a partner in the project.
Currently, OG&E does not have any definite plans on how to store the CO2 once it is captured. But Alford said the planned space set aside was a preliminary step "to ensure we have the footprint ready for the future."
The six-year construction proposal includes strengthening and expanding the electric transmission, distribution and substation systems and replacing aging infrastructure. Other projects involve installing new emission-control equipment at existing OG&E power plants to meet all environmental requirements.
"In the 105 years OG&E has powered the growth and vitality of the communities we serve in Oklahoma, economic conditions now are as robust as we have ever seen," said Steven E. Moore, chairman and CEO of OGE Energy Corp., parent company of OG&E. "Our customers have set new records for electricity demand for seven years in a row, and we must plan now to meet their needs in the years ahead. We have given thoughtful consideration to supply, demand, environmental stewardship, system reliability and customer cost. Working together with the Corporation Commission, we are confident we can strike the right balance for Oklahoma's future."
OG&E estimates that in its service area, demand for electricity will grow by about 50 percent over the next 25 years. Under state law and Commission rules, OG&E's filing seeks appropriate scrutiny of its proposal and pre-approval for building and recovery of financing costs.
PSO will own 50 percent of the new Red Rock unit; OG&E will operate the facility and own 42 percent and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, which provides electric power to about 20 communities in the state, will own 8 percent.