American Electric Power (AEP) has commenced commercial operation at its 199MW Sundance Wind Energy Centre, located in Woods County of north central Oklahoma, US.

The Sundance wind facility is one of the three wind projects that comprise North Central Energy Facilities, which are being developed by Invenergy.

The other facilities include the 287MW Maverick and 999MW Traverse projects, which are expected to start operating later this year and in early 2022, respectively.

AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer Nicholas K Akins said: “The completion of Sundance is a milestone for AEP and our customers as we continue to build a clean energy future.

“North Central will ensure we can provide clean, reliable energy to our customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, while also saving them an estimated $3 billion in electricity costs over the next 30 years.

“We continue to transform AEP’s generation fleet with investments in new wind and solar and modernize the grid to support the integration of more renewable resources and new technologies.”

The North Central Energy Facilities are designed to provide 1,485MW of clean energy to customers of AEP’s Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) and Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) subsidiaries.

Recently, GE Renewable Energy has reached an agreement with Invenergy to provide onshore wind turbines for the wind projects.

The combined North Central wind projects represent a $2bn investment, and are anticipated to generate adequate energy to power 440,000 homes.

Once brought into commercial operations, PSO and SWEPCO are expected to assume the ownership of each of the three wind projects.

The projects are said to benefit US economy through jobs in manufacturing, construction, operations and maintenance, along with generating property tax revenue and lease payments for landowners.

Currently, AEP is one of the largest electricity producers in the US, with nearly 300GW of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5.5GW of renewable energy.