American Electric Power to Invest $4.5 Billion in Wind Farm Project

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 27, 2017

Invenergy and GE Renewables, a unit of General Electric, announced they are constructing a 2,000 MW wind farm in Oklahoma as part of the so-called Wind Catcher Energy Connection project.

In addition to hundreds of towers and turbines, the Wind Catcher Energy Connection development will include an approximately 350-mile long, dedicated, extra-high voltage power line. The project could be completed as early as 2020 if approved. With the addition of Wind Catcher energy, PSO customers will receive almost 40% of their energy from wind. Oklahoma ranks third in the nation in total installed wind capacity. "This project reflects Invenergy's innovative spirit and unparalleled execution ability, and we are proud to be working with forward-looking utilities like PSO and SWEPCO, whose customers and communities will benefit from this project for decades to come".

Invenergy said connecting Wind Catcher to the grid could save regional utility customers more than $7 billion over the next quarter century and support an initial 4,000 direct jobs annually during the construction phase.

Instead of tax credits, the governor called for a tax on wind energy of $0.005 per kilowatt-hour produced.

The Wind Catcher project will have 800 2.5-MW turbines supplied by GE, which noted it would manufacture all of the turbine machine heads and hubs domestically. All machine heads and hubs will be manufactured in the USA, and additional components will be manufactured in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. It also will contribute approximately $300 million in property taxes over the life of the project.

"Wind Catcher shows American leadership in bringing low-priced clean energy to market at giga-scale", said Invenergy founder and chief executive Michael Polsky. It is under construction and is expected to be the biggest single wind farm in the United States.

PSO has about 547,000 electric customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma. The wind farm will provide power to a portion of the Texas Panhandle served by the Southwestern Electric Power Co. The project also needs approval from other state regulators and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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