Home News-Free Campbell Leads LPSC in Favor of Caddo Solar Project

Campbell Leads LPSC in Favor of Caddo Solar Project

Foster Campbell

Clean, renewable energy able to power 12,000 homes is
coming to north Caddo Parish in the form of a solar power plant near Hosston,
according to Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell.

The 72-megawatt “Rocking R” solar facility near the Louisiana 2 exit off
Interstate 49 will be built by D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments and the power
sold to SWEPCO in a long-term agreement, according to a plan approved
unanimously today by the Louisiana PSC.

“SWEPCO has been a leader among Louisiana electric companies in using
renewable wind power from Oklahoma, Texas and other states,” Campbell said. 

“This North Caddo project brings more clean and economical energy to
SWEPCO customers along with jobs in construction and investment in Louisiana.
“It is also a power-purchase agreement, meaning SWEPCO will make no
profit on the sale of the solar power to its customers.”

SWEPCO officials said once Arkansas and the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission join Louisiana in approval of the Rocking R project, DESRI can start
the permitting process to begin construction.

Campbell said he supports SWEPCO’s conversion to renewable power to
generate electricity for the company’s 234,000 Louisiana customers.

“We have been reliably served through the years with coal and natural gas,
but it is time to get more of our electricity from clean and plentiful energy sources
that are competitive in cost and better for the environment,” he said.
SWEPCO President and Chief Operating Officer Malcolm Smoak said the
utility plans to add more solar and wind power in the near future.

“Adding more clean energy to our generation mix is a significant benefit to
our customers,” Smoak said.  “The production price of wind and solar power is
unaffected by the type of fluctuations in fuel costs that we have seen lately with
natural gas.”

Smoak said SWEPCO commercial customers can use the Rocking R solar
output to meet renewable-power and sustainability goals, “and that makes
northwest Louisiana more desirable for economic expansion.”

Smoak said large customers will be able to purchase Renewable Energy
Certificates from the Rocking R plant, with revenue from the REC sales helping to
lower electric bills for other SWEPCO customers.

SWEPCO’s renewable-energy portfolio includes 809 megawatts of wind
energy from its new North Central Energy Facilities in Oklahoma and another 469
megawatts of wind energy under power-purchase agreements.

In May of 2022 SWEPCO filed for regulatory approvals in Louisiana,
Arkansas and Texas for 999 megawatts of wind and solar energy.  The company
identified three locations for the projects through competitive bidding, including a
200-megawatt solar facility in Caddo Parish. The other two projects include a 200-
megawatt wind facility in Texas and a 598-megawatt wind facility in