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AEP has received three of the five necessary approvals for its planned $2 billion investment — from Oklahoma, Arkansas and FERC — and expects decisions in May or June from regulators in Louisiana and Texas.
AEP will need approval from regulators in all four states where the new wind generation will serve customers, as well as sign-off from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. But to bolster its case, the company said it can scale the amount of generation acquired by PSO or SWEPCO, subject to commercial limitations, "to align with individual state resource needs as determined by the respective state commissions."
Renewable energy companies and Rep. Kevin West (R-Moore) are set to hold an Aug. 1 meeting at the Oklahoma State Capitol in an attempt to formulate a standardized property tax valuation system for wind farms. School districts and county officials are also expected to participate in the ongoing negotiation process, which seeks to put an end to the disagreements over wind project valuation that routinely cause lawsuits.
The federal government later joined the legal battle on behalf of the tribe, claiming the excavation work was mining and therefore required a lease. It lost its original case but won in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which found Osage Wind was engaged in mining without a lease.
While people like the idea of wind power, few are eager to have wind farms near their homes. This is true not only in conservative rural Oklahoma, but locations across the nation. Writing at City Journal, Robert Bryce notes that the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates this year in “deep-blue Vermont” favored renewable energy “in principle” but opposed new wind energy development.
The headwinds one wind developer is facing as it attempts to build a project in western Oklahoma are only getting stiffer. To date, NextEra Energy's proposed Minco IV and Minco V wind farms have prompted the town of Hinton to pass an ordinance that declares commercial wind turbines a nuisance and resulted in the filing of two federal lawsuits..... more [truncated due to possible copyright]
Federal law doesn't force a developer to hold off on construction until they have a 'no hazard' designation, but members of Oklahoma's Congressional delegation say that would be the right thing to do, and say it's sad that a company like NextEra, would take federal renewable energy tax credits with one hand and harm our national security with the other.
A Florida-based energy company continues to put up wind turbines in western Oklahoma, despite a request from the state to 'cease and desist.' The construction would seem to violate state law, and yet it's not at all clear if the law can be enforced, at least in this particular case.
There were legal problems with the project that conflicted with Oklahoma rules and law because the project hadn't been competitively bid and because work on it had started before PSO had filed its cost recovery request. State officials also questioned whether customers would financially benefit from the project during its 25-year life.
Company remains focused on 5-7 percent earnings growth through investments to improve service for customers COLUMBUS, Ohio – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) is canceling the Wind Catcher project as a result of the Public Utility Commission of Texas’ July 26 decision to deny approval of the project. The project had been approved by the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Louisiana Public Service Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A decision was pending at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
AEP's original schedule called for the need to order the longest-lead-time equipment by Aug. 6. Through some negotiations, it has been able to delay those orders until the end of August, but the company can't afford to delay much longer, AEP CFO Brian Tierney told investors. It needs to make its timetables in order for developer Invenergy LLC to complete the wind farm by 2020.
The 2,000 MW Wind Catcher Energy Connection project proposed by SWEPCO, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, came under scrutiny from the PUCT earlier this week as the regulators questioned the prudence of putting such a large investment on ratepayers, particularly with the inclusion of a $1.6 billion transmission line to move the energy from the wind farm.
Regulators threw a wrench in American Electric Power’s massive Wind Catcher Energy Connection on Thursday, expressing concerns over whether the company will protect ratepayers from the project’s risks. ...“I’m going to be upfront with you,” [Public Utility Commission Chair DeAnn] Walker said ...“At this point, I can’t approve the [project].” Walker said she would need additional consumer protections from SWEPCO, which would own 70% of the $4.5 billion project.
Many questions and responses centered on whether the project would benefit the utility's typical residential customer, especially during the last 15 years of the project's expected 25 year life. A big key to that, witnesses agreed, is where natural gas prices would be during that time.
A commission administrative law judge who considered PSO's proposal has recommended the commission deny the utility's request. The judge recommended denial because the utility did not seek competitive construction bids for the farm and because that work had started before PSO filed its request.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is holding a hearing Monday concerning PSO's Wind Catcher project. The Corporation Commission says the meeting concerns proposed settlements and motions for PSO's Wind Catcher project.
The Bixby City Council withdrew its opposition to the Wind Catcher Energy Connection power line project Monday evening after Public Service Co. of Oklahoma presented an alternate plan to not only use existing right-of-way through the southern part of the town but to rebuild that route with smaller towers.
“I am all for adding clean, renewable power generation to our power grid, but the project has to serve a need, and it has to make sense financially,” Greene said. “I could not vote to have SWEPCO customers finance an unneeded generation project that might only save them money if the price of natural gas increases significantly."