By Editors of Power Engineering
American Electric Power is now seeking regulatory approval to purchase power from what will be the largest wind facility in the United States.
Including the cost of a new 350-mile power line, AEP plans a total investment of $4.5 billion into Wind Catcher, which will have a total capacity of 2,000 MW. Reuters reported it will come online in 2020. Wind Catcher is currently under construction in the Oklahoma Panhandle by Invenergy.
AEP utility Southwestern Electric Power Co. will own 1,400 MW of the project, while Public Service Co. of Oklahoma will own the remaining 600 MW. Power from the project will be delivered to customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
GE will provide 800 2.5-MW turbines for the project.
“AEP is moving to a cleaner energy future, driven by new technologies and the expectations of our customers and shareholders. We are diversifying our generation mix to include more renewables, and we’re also investing in a smarter, more efficient and resilient electricity grid to support these new resources and technologies,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “This project is consistent with our strategy of investing in the energy resources of the future, and it will save our customers money while providing economic benefits to communities.”
AEP has also announced or filed for approvals for another 1,350 MW of wind and solar generation that will be owned by the company or added to its portfolio. By 2030, AEP plans to add 7,300 MW of renewable generation.