State Gives Go-Ahead to Share of Massive Wind Farm Project, Hearings Set in Texas and Louisiana

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020

An Oklahoma electric utility has gotten regulatory approval of a share of a massive wind farm project proposed for seven counties in the north central part of the state

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An Oklahoma electric utility now has approval from the state for a share of a massive wind farm project proposed for seven counties in north-central Oklahoma.

Public Service Co. of Oklahoma’s 675-megawatt share of the four-state project was approved last week by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

PSO will own 45.5% of the 1,485-megawatt capacity of the North Central Energy Facilities. Corporate sibling Southwestern Electric Power Co. will own the rest and has reached a settlement agreement with regulators in Arkansas while hearings are set on its proposal in Louisiana and Texas.

The approval does not include new transmission lines needed to link the farms with the grid, only updates to existing infrastructure, said Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy, who said she is already receiving calls from landowners concerned about the need for the lines.

The project includes three wind farms in Alfalfa, Blaine, Custer, Kingfisher, Garfield, Major and Woods counties. It comes after PSO canceled the $4.5 billion, 2,000-megawatt Wind Catcher Energy Connection project in July 2018.

That project proposed for the Oklahoma Panhandle was approved in Louisiana, Arkansas and by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission but was canceled after rejection by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.