The transition to clean renewable energy for Louisiana took another step forward this week with the start-up of the second of three planned SWEPCO wind farms in Oklahoma. The 287-megawatt Maverick wind farm is now providing more clean energy for SWEPCO’s Louisiana customers.
The Maverick wind farm is the second of three wind-power facilities that make up the 1,485-MW North Central Energy Facilities project in Oklahoma. The North Central project also includes the 199-MW Sundance wind farm, which began commercial operation in April 2021, and the 999-MW Traverse wind farm that is scheduled to begin commercial operation in early 2022. “Louisiana customers of SWEPCO benefit as each of these facilities comes online,” said Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell. “There’s no cost for wind as a fuel when it is used to generate electricity, and that is a savings to customers. These projects also qualify for federal tax incentives that are passed on to customers. “The result will be savings of $1 billion over the expected 30-year life of the facilities compared to other energy resources.” The Louisiana Public Service Commission unanimously approved Campbell’s motion to endorse the SWEPCO wind project in May 2020. “Among our Louisiana electric utilities SWEPCO has been most aggressive when it comes to adopting clean renewable energy,” Campbell said. “I support this transition and am pushing the company to go further with solar power developed here at home in Louisiana.” Campbell recognized the opportunity for Louisiana customers to benefit from long-term savings and more renewable energy from wind power in nearby Oklahoma. “This transition is also important because it demonstrates our commitment to defeating climate change, which is disrupting all aspects of life across the United States and the world,” he said. The SWEPCO share of the Oklahoma wind power will serve customers in Arkansas and Louisiana, the two states where regulators approved the project. SWEPCO’s 810 megawatts also includes 268 MW for Arkansas and 78 MW for wholesale customers, including the City of Minden.