The project is separate from the 4.5 billion proposed Wind Catcher wind power project that failed in 2018 following public outcry and rejection by the Texas Public Utility Commission. That project would have centered on construction of a 300,000-acre wind farm — the largest in the United States — in Cimarron and Texas counties by international energy giant Invenergy.
Beginning next month, an energy company will seek in-person, community and landowner feedback from Tulsa, Creek and Noble counties on its plans to build a roughly $100 million, 80-mile electric transmission line across a portion of the state.
Transource Energy, a partnership between Ohio-based American Electric Power (AEP) and Evergy, is developing the Sooner-Wekiwa Project, a new overhead electric transmission line in Oklahoma designed to save customers hundreds of millions of dollars.
AEP is the parent company of Tulsa-based Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), which generates, transmits and distributes electric power to about 565,000 retail customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma.
The Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the electricity balancing market for a multi-state region that includes Oklahoma, awarded Transource the opportunity to construct a new electric transmission line in Oklahoma to address deficiencies in the electric grid and improve consumer access to low-cost power.
The 345-kilovolt (kV) line will stretch from Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s Sooner Substation in Noble County to PSO’s Wekiwa Substation in western Tulsa County near Sand Springs.
Transource plans to build the new overhead electric transmission line connecting the two substations, which will make make upgrades at their respective substations.
“This project will save Oklahomans and other customers in the region millions of dollars in the coming years,” Transource Director Todd Burns said in a statement. “We look forward to working with communities to develop the project.”
Company officials expect construction to begin in 2024 and conclude in late 2025. According to SPP, the project increases consumer access to more affordable power in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas and Louisiana while providing $16.8 million in congestion savings during the first year and $465.6 million over the next 40 years.
The public comment period runs through Aug. 31. Transource representatives haven’t identified a final route for the project but are presenting potential study segments for consideration and will receive public input on them before deciding where to build the new power line.
Both online and in-person open houses are planned in August to solicit feedback on potential study segments and provide information about the project.
Community outreach is scheduled Aug. 19 at the Case Community Center in Sand Springs and on Aug. 18 at Baugh’s Country View in Drumright. Another public meeting is scheduled Aug. 17 at the Noble County Fairgrounds (women’s building) in Perry. All of the meetings are scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Transource representatives plan to build the new transmission line in roughly a 130-foot-wide, right-of-way corridor to ensure the safe construction, operation and maintenance of the facilities. Average height of the lines will be 132 feet.
Typical regional farming practices can continue within the right-of-way – right up to the structure – and landowners will be compensated for easements required to build the line, as well as potential impacts, such as crop loss during construction and restoration.
The project is separate from the 4.5 billion proposed Wind Catcher wind power project that failed in 2018 following public outcry and rejection by the Texas Public Utility Commission.
That project would have centered on construction of a 300,000-acre wind farm – the largest in the United States – in Cimarron and Texas counties by international energy giant Invenergy.
AEP and its subsidiaries would have acquired the 2,000-megawatt wind farm and a 360-mile dedicated generation tie line to the Tulsa area, where it was to connect to the electrical grid for delivery to PSO customers in Oklahoma and Southwest Electric Power Co. customers in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas.
For more information about the Sooner-Wekiwa Project, go to transourceenergyprojects.com/Sooner-Wekiwa/.
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