Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) company, has reached a settlement agreement with all parties, including the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) Staff, the Alliance for Affordable Energy and Walmart, Inc., regarding SWEPCO’s proposal to add 810 megawatts (MW) of wind energy.
The settlement agreement is subject to final approval by the LPSC following the submission of testimony and a settlement hearing.
“This project is a key part of our long-term goal of serving customers with a resource mix of more than one-third renewable energy. In addition to the environmental benefits of wind energy, SWEPCO customers will save an estimated $2 billion over the 30-year expected life of the new facilities,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “We appreciate the hard work of all the participants in this regulatory review as we seek to bring more low-cost renewable energy to Louisiana customers.”
SWEPCO is proposing to acquire three wind facilities in north central Oklahoma – known as the North Central Energy Facilities – in conjunction with its sister company, Public Service of Oklahoma (PSO).
PSO received final Oklahoma Corporation Commission approval Feb. 20, 2020, of a settlement agreement in its plan to add 675 megawatts of wind energy.
SWEPCO and all Arkansas parties reached a unanimous settlement agreement in January 2020. It is subject to final approval by the Arkansas Public Service Commission.
“The parties are continuing to work through the regulatory process in Texas in the hope that our customers in East Texas and the Panhandle can benefit from this low-cost energy while helping businesses and other customers meet their renewable energy goals,” Smoak said.
SWEPCO’s proposal is scalable to align with regulatory approvals by state, subject to commercial limitations. Two states that approve the project would have the ability to increase the number of megawatts allocated to them if one state does not approve the proposal.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the acquisition of the wind facilities by SWEPCO and PSO.
SWEPCO serves more than 536,300 customers in three states, including 231,000 in northwest and central Louisiana, 185,500 in Texas and 119,800 in Arkansas.