New Projects, Renewables, Wind

Largest Wind Farm Proposal in U.S. Dealt Setback by Judge

By Editors of Power Engineering

The development of AEP’s 2-GW Wind Catcher project in Oklahoma was complicated by a judicial ruling that the company did not prove that customers should pay for the $4.5 billion project.

Marty Candler, an administrative law judge in Oklahoma, issued the non-binding recommendation to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Bloomberg reported, adding that AEP did not take competitive bids.

“A project at this price point must be done right,” Candler wrote in the filing. “An excuse of ‘not enough time’ for competitive bidding is not sufficient.”

AEP is seeking advance approval from regulators in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas in addition to Oklahoma, as the project will sell power to customers in all four states.

The company had said a delay in the project’s construction would put $2.7 billion in production tax credits, which would be passed on to customers, at risk. AEP estimates customers would save $7 billion over 25 years as wind power takes over generation from natural gas plants.

AEP hopes to have Wind Catcher online by 2020.