On behalf of Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC), our 450 faculty and staff, and our 17,000 credit, non-credit and adult education students, we thank you for this opportunity to address you regarding our support for an important project for our region — the SWEPCO Wind Catcher Connection project. This project is an investment in clean energy and area manufacturing that is beneficial to our region.
The Wind Catcher is a major wind farm and a dedicated power line project to bring low-cost, clean energy to SWEPCO customers in our area. The proposed Wind Catcher project includes the purchase of a wind farm being built in Oklahoma and the construction of a power line that will deliver low-cost energy to Tulsa, where the existing transmission grid will deliver it to SWEPCO customers.
The project will save SWEPCO customers more than $4 billion over the 25year life of the project. And, the project means jobs for Louisiana as it anticipates a significant number of turbine blades, towers and generator frames will be manufactured in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. At BPCC, we have a strong relationship with our more than thirty area manufacturers and we are proud to provide them with a talented workforce who are job ready on day one.
Wind Catcher is part of SWEPCO’s long tradition of a diverse energy resource mix. In addition to lowering electricity costs for customers, Wind Catcher helps companies, universities, cities and other customers meet their sustainability and renewable energy goals.
At BPCC, we are looking for opportunities to create energy efficiencies on our campus. Our newest buildings include motion-sensor lighting fixtures to cut down e lectrical costs when classrooms or offices are not in use. A! dditionally, we are investigating an opportunity to transform the light fixtures on BPCC’s campus to LED lights. Converting the campus’ approximately 6,200 fixtures will have a tremendous cost savings impact on the college through decreased energy usage.
We urge the Louisiana Public Service Commission to support bringing lower energy costs and more advanced manufacturing jobs to our area.
Dr. Rick Bateman Jr. is chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College