AEP proposes $4.5B to buy 2 GW Oklahoma wind farm

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   July 27, 2017  /   Posted in American Electric Power (AEP), wind  /   No Comments

AEP proposes $4.5B to buy 2 GW Oklahoma wind farm

Dive Brief:

  • Invenergy and GE Renewables, a unit of General Electric, announced they are constructing a 2,000 MW wind farm in Oklahoma as part of the so-called Wind Catcher Energy Connection project.
  • American Electric Power (AEP) has asked regulators in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma for permission to purchase the $4.5 billion wind facility outright instead of through a standard power purchase agreement for the output. The project also includes a high voltage, 350-mile transmission line, key to shipping the output to customers in the South and lower Midwest.
  • The project is one of the biggest wind farms under construction in the United States and is scheduled to be completed in 2020. For comparison, the Wyoming Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farm is expected to boast a nameplate capacity of 3,000 MW, and construction started near the end of last year.

Dive Insight:

More utilities are eyeing investments in wind farms to boost renewable energy in their power mixes. However, AEP appears to be veering slightly off the normal course of signing a PPA contract with the developer, and instead wants to purchase the assets outright.

Bloomberg notes a trend of utilities trying to purchase these facilities and recover costs instead of buying the output from the developer through a contract, especially as solar and wind costs decline and compete with natural gas and coal.

A recent levelized cost of energy analyses from Lazard said onshore wind LCOE is between $32/MWh and $62/MWh—lower than that of a combined cycle natural gas plant, which ranges from $48/MWh to $78/MWh.

This wind facility is one of the most ambitious ones to date in the United States. At 2,000 MW, it would serve 1.1 million customers under AEP subsidiaries Public Service Co. of Oklahoma and Southwestern Electric Power Co. The project is expected to save those customers $7 billion in net costs over a 25-year span, according to a joint press release from GE Energy and . In addition, AEP estimates 4,000 direct jobs will be created through construction, along with 80 permanent job once the facility is operational.

About 9,000 MW of wind energy came online last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, beating hydropower as the largest installed base capacity for renewable energy. Much of that installed capacity is centered in Texas, but Oklahoma has long been prime territory for wind. The state recently prematurely sunsetted a state wind credit due to the high volume of wind energy buildout.

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Opinion: Climate change will heat up midterm elections

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   July 25, 2017  /   Posted in 2018 Midterm Elections, Uncategorized  /   No Comments

Climate change will heat up midterm elections

Renewable energy contract case in Michigan could set precedent

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   July 24, 2017  /   Posted in Uncategorized  /   No Comments

Renewable energy contract case in Michigan could set precedent

Michigan Public Service Commission expected to rule July 31

Illinois issues RFP for utility-scale and brownfield solar

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   July 24, 2017  /   Posted in solar, wind  /   No Comments

Harvest Energy

Illinois issues RFP for utility-scale and brownfield solar

Watch IURC Technical Conference on SEA 309 On-line

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   July 20, 2017  /   Posted in 2017 Indiana General Assembly, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), solar  /   No Comments

Seal of the State of Indiana

2017 TECHNICAL CONFERENCE ADDRESSING QUESTIONS RE: IMPLEMENTATION OF NET METERING LEGISLATION (SEA 309)

After learning of questions from those involved in the installation of solar panels and other net metering equipment, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission is hosting a Technical Conference as a forum to address questions and concerns regarding the implementation of the newly-enacted Indiana Code chapter 8-1-40 (Senate Enrolled Act 309) on net metering and distributed generation, particularly the Dec. 31, 2017 deadline for the 30-year grandfather provision. The Technical Conference will take place on July 20, 2017, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in its judicial courtroom 222, on the mezzanine level of the PNC Center, 101 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204.

We invite your input and ask that you send us your questions, concerns, and examples regarding the topic(s) for which you would like clarification. The Technical Conference will be only on the short-term implementation of Indiana Code chapter 8-1-40, and not the policy decision made by the Indiana General Assembly to enact this statute. Please send your questions, concerns, and examples to us in writing by June 28, 2017. If possible, please send your written input via email to URCComments@urc.in.gov. Your input may also be sent to us via U.S. mail using the address below. All written input will be posted on the Commission’s website. With the information we receive on or before June 28, we will build an agenda for the Technical Conference, which we plan on distributing on July 6, 2017. Additional questions may be asked at the Technical Conference.

The Technical Conference will be streamed online here. As there will be limited seating at the Technical Conference, we ask that, in addition to sending us questions and concerns in advance, each organization send only one or two representatives to participate in the Technical Conference.

Following the discussion at the Technical Conference, the Commission may take additional action, such as issuing an Emergency Clarification Order and temporarily adjusting the time deadlines or other requirements of the Commission’s current interconnection rule (170 Indiana Administrative Code 4-4.3).  To provide the evidentiary support for any possible action, the Commission’s court reporters will be recording and transcribing the Technical Conference.

Again, the Commission welcomes and invites your participation. Please note that the discussion at the Technical Conference will be only on the short-term implementation of Indiana Code chapter 8-1-40, and not the policy decision made by the Indiana General Assembly to enact this statute.

If you have any questions prior to the Technical Conference, or if you want to send your input via regular mail, please contact the Commission’s General Counsel at:

Beth Heline, General Counsel
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
101 W. Washington Street, Suite 1500 E
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 232-2092
BHeline@urc.IN.gov

Documents

Public Notice

Technical Conference Agenda

Handout - Statute, Rules and Comments

Comments

Bose McKinney & Evans, LLP | PDF

Joint Commenters: CGI, CAC, HEC, Indiana DG, Sierra Club - Hoosier Chapter | PDF

Indiana Energy Association | PDF

Johnson-Melloh Companies | PDF

Rectify Solar - Phil Teague | PDF

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