Published on August 10th, 2018 | by Joshua S Hill0
AEP Pulls Plug On 2 Gigawatt Oklahoma Wind Catcher Project After Texas Denies Approval
August 10th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill
American Electric Power announced in late July that it was cancelling development of its 2 gigawatt (GW) Wind Catcher onshore wind farm after the Texas Public Utility Commission denied regulatory approval.
Invenergy, North America’s largest independent and privately-held renewable energy company, and GE Renewable Energy announced in July of 2017 that they would be partnering to develop the 2 GW Wind Catcher wind farm as part of the larger $4.5 billion Wind Catcher Energy Connection that would have included an approximately 350-mile dedicated, extra-high voltage power line and been backed by investment from American Electric Power (AEP).
Wind Catcher had already received regulatory approval from the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Louisiana Public Service Commission, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and was waiting on approval from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission — though, given the support the project boasted from Oklahomans, this seems to have been likely as well. However, the Public Utility Commission of Texas announced on July 26 that it had denied approval for the project — which is unfortunate, considering that Wind Catcher would only have served a small portion of Texas.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to move forward with Wind Catcher, which was a great opportunity to provide more clean energy, lower electricity costs and a more diverse energy resource mix for our customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “To realize the full benefits of Wind Catcher for customers, timely approvals were required from all jurisdictions so we could complete the project by the end of 2020 and be eligible for 100% of the federal production tax credit. We want to thank our employees and our partners for all of their work on the development of the Wind Catcher project.”
I reached out to Invenergy and GE Renewable Energy for comment but they had not replied at time of publishing. I will update as appropriate.