The second of three new wind facilities serving Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) customers in Louisiana and Arkansas has begun commercial operation.
The 287-megawatt (MW) Maverick facility is part of the 1,485-MW North Central Energy Facilities (NCEF) project in Oklahoma.
“We are now delivering even more clean energy to our customers as the Maverick wind farm begins commercial operation,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “With no fuel cost for wind, these renewable energy facilities lower SWEPCO’s overall fuel cost for power generation. The fuel cost savings and federal Production Tax Credits offset the cost of the facilities, resulting in net long-term savings to customers of more than $2 billion over the 30-year expected life of the NCEF facilities.”
In addition to Maverick, the NCEF project includes the 199-MW Sundance wind farm, which began commercial operation on April 14, 2021, and the 999-MW Traverse wind farm, which is under construction with planned commercial operation in early 2022. In total, the facilities will generate enough energy to power 440,000 homes.
“This wind energy is helping customers meet their own renewable energy and sustainability goals, and making communities in Louisiana and Arkansas more competitive for economic development,” Smoak said.
SWEPCO will receive 810 MW from the NCEF project. SWEPCO’s sister company, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, will receive 675 MW from the project.
The allocation of SWEPCO’s 810 MW is approximately 464 MW for Louisiana, 268 MW for Arkansas and 78 MW for wholesale customers.
The facilities are being developed by Invenergy and purchased by SWEPCO and PSO at completion. SWEPCO and PSO are American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) companies.
SWEPCO’s investment in the total project is approximately $1.01 billion.
The Maverick facility, located southwest of Enid, Okla., includes 103 GE Renewable Energy wind turbines. It is connected directly to the transmission grid that serves SWEPCO customers.
In addition to the renewable energy serving all Louisiana and Arkansas customers, customers also have the option to purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) through the SWEPCO Renewable Energy Choice program. Proceeds from the REC sales flow back into fuel cost savings for the benefit of all Louisiana and Arkansas customers.
In addition to Sundance and Maverick, SWEPCO’s diverse energy resource mix currently includes 469 MW of wind energy under power purchase agreements with facilities in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
SWEPCO serves 543,000 customers in three states, including 233,000 in northwest and central Louisiana, 187,600 in northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle and 122,800 in western Arkansas.