Oklahoma to House Largest Wind Farm

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 2, 2017

Once completed, the Wind Catcher Tie Line would deliver energy from the Wind Catcher wind farm in western Oklahoma to customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

Benjamin Fowke, chief executive officer of Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy, said in April that the company would seek approval to add 3.4 gigawatts of new wind energy and bill customers for as much as 80 percent of that investment through rates.

The anticipated contract value for the project makes it the largest in Quanta's history, the company says.

"The wind industry has come quite far along and this project is indicative of that". "This is really quite exciting that customers will benefit from clean wind energy and save almost two billion dollars over 25 years". The wind farm developer Invenergy Renewables LLC last week said that General Electric (NYSE:GE) has been selected as turbine supplier for the 2-GW facility. PSO will also own part of an approximately 350-mile dedicated generation tie-line, stretching from the panhandle to the Tulsa area.

"We keep wondering why utilities are always signing PPAs that pass the cost through to customers", said Amy Grace, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

With the cost of building solar and wind farms sliding and electricity demand weakening, owning renewables is a more attractive proposition than ever for utilities.

Peter Main of SWEPCO explains the utility now buys power from wind farms in the Texas, central Oklahoma, and Kansas area.

"Customers, shareholders and the environment win with this project", Whiteford said.

"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".

Texas remains a leader when it comes to installed wind power capacity - with more than 20,000 megawatts - but wind power still accounts for only 13 percent of the state's power mix.

Quanta expects construction to begin in late 2018 and to be completed in late 2020. No rate increase will be needed, he said. "There are considerable costs associated with the compliance and also additional things we do all the time, such as replacing equipment that helps bring electricity to costumers".

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