OKLAHOMA CITY – Public Service Co. of Oklahoma on Tuesday filed to withdraw its application for the Wind Catcher Energy Connection project with Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
On July 26, Texas Public Utility Commission voted to reject the certificate of convenience and necessity sought by Southwestern Electric Power Co. and based on that rejection, American Electric Co. – parent company to PSO SWEPCO – decided to not pursue the Wind Catcher project, according to the application for withdrawal filed Tuesday.
“Therefore, PSO is withdrawing its request made in its Application filed July 31, 2017, and the Joint Motion for Commission Review and Consideration of Join Stipulation and Settlement Agreement including its Amendment filed June 7, 2018,” according to the application.
PSO and Oneta Power, LLC also seek approval of a motion for commission review and consideration of joint stipulation and settlement agreement with the two companies as the movants, which was filed June 7, 2018 and presented to OCC July 2 and 3, according to the documents.
The application involves the withdrawal of PSO’s request for approval of the cost of recovery of the project; a determination for a need for the project; approval for future inclusion in base rates cost recovery of prudent costs incurred by PSO for Wind Catcher; approval of a temporary cost recovery rider; approval of certain accounting procedures regarding Federal Production Tax credits and more, according to the application.
The case is pending with OCC until the application filed Tuesday is approved. OCC officials made no comment on the case Tuesday.
“We don’t have any particular comment other than this is just part of the process involved in the cancellation of the project,” said Stan Whiteford, manager of region communications for PSO.
Wind Catcher Energy Connection was a joint effort between Southwestern Electric Power Co. and PSO, and would have been a $4.5 billion project that involved building a wind farm in Oklahoma, a 350-mile power line and two substations. SWEPCO would have owned 70 percent of the project, and PSO the other 30 percent.
The wind farm was to be built on 300,000 acres in Cimarron and Texas counties in the Panhandle include about 800 2.5 MW wind turbines. A power line was set to stretch from there to Tulsa, bringing 2,000 megawatts of energy to customers in eastern and southwest Oklahoma, in addition to parts of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. PSO’s share of the project investment would have been $1.36 billion.
A number of leaders in Northwest Oklahoma had expressed support for the project since its inception, while other leaders and numerous landowners set to have their properties impacted by the power line voiced concern and opposition.
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