GE Renewable Energy has made an agreement with Chicago-based Invenergy, a global clean energy developer and operator, to provide wind turbines for the 1.48 gigawatt North Central Wind Energy Facilities in Oklahoma.
GE’s largest-ever onshore wind project
The North Central Wind Energy Facilities project is a group of three wind farms in north central Oklahoma. GE will deliver 492 2.X-127s and 39 2.X-116 turbines. According to GE Renewable Energy’s press release:
The three wind farms are the 999-megawatt Traverse Wind Energy Center, the 287-megawatt Maverick Wind Energy Center, and the 199-megawatt Sundance Wind Energy Center. Maverick and Sundance will be completed in 2021 and Traverse in 2022.
The Traverse Wind Energy Center will become the largest wind farm in the US if it goes online as scheduled.
Tim White, GE Renewable Energy’s CEO, Onshore Americas, said:
GE Renewable Energy is delighted to be a part of this exciting endeavor, which is the largest combined onshore wind project in GE’s history. We have a long partnership with Invenergy and AEP and look forward to working closely with them to help bring a significant amount of affordable, sustainable energy to the region.
AR, LA, OK = in. TX = out
The project will be owned by Columbus, Ohio-headquartered utility American Electric Power (AEP)‘s subsidiaries, Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO) and Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO). According to Power Magazine:
‘PSO will own 45.5% and SWEPCO will own 54.5% of the project, which will cost approximately $2 billion,’ AEP said.
According to AEP, PSO received approval from Oklahoma regulators and SWEPCO received approval from regulators in Arkansas and Louisiana to acquire the North Central Wind Energy Facilities on a fixed-cost turnkey basis at completion in 2020. Both the Arkansas Public Service Commission and the Louisiana Public Service Commission approved the flex-up option, agreeing to acquire the Texas portion, which the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) of Texas denied.
In June 2020, AEP CEO Nicholas Akins said in a statement about Texas’ denial [via Power Engineering]:
We are disappointed that our SWEPCO customers in Texas will not be able to benefit from the low-cost wind energy the North Central projects will provide.
The regulatory approvals we have received in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will allow us to move ahead with the North Central wind projects at full scale, saving our customers in those states approximately $3 billion over the next 30 years.
The Texas PUC has been in the news a lot this year. After Texas’ massive blackout crisis in February due to freezing weather, all three members of the Texas PUC resigned in March after pressure from legislators, as they refused to retroactively adjust the inflated price of power.
And just today, Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) named Will McAdams, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas and a former aide at the Texas Capitol, to the board of the Texas PUC. He will need to be confirmed by the state senate.
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