American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP) subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) has signed a long-term power purchase agreement for renewable wind energy with Majestic Wind Power LLC (Majestic Wind), a subsidiary of Babcock & Brown Renewable Holdings Inc. Through the 20-year agreement, SWEPCO will purchase all of the output, including renewable energy credits, of the 79.5-megawatt Majestic Wind farm located northeast of Amarillo in Carson County, Texas.
The project, consisting of 53 General Electric 1.5-megawatt SLE wind turbines and associated equipment, is more than 95% complete and expected to be online by the end of this month. Pricing terms are confidential.
“We continue to diversify AEP’s power generation mix with wind and other renewables, along with new baseload generation using advanced coal technologies, in order to meet our customers’ future electricity needs,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “This latest agreement is part of AEP’s voluntary plans, announced in 2007, to add 1,000 megawatts of new wind energy by 2011 as a component of our comprehensive strategy to address greenhouse gas emissions.”
The agreement with Majestic Wind Power LLC brings AEP’s long-term renewable-energy purchase commitments up to 455 megawatts since the 1,000-megawatt goal was established. AEP companies have additional requests for proposals out for up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy.
“As we have noted previously, when you add our wind capabilities that were in place prior to the establishment of the goal – 310 megawatts of wind generation in Texas owned by AEP and 367 megawatts of long-term wind-energy purchase agreements in Texas and Oklahoma – it’s clear that our energy portfolio now includes a significant amount of renewable energy,” Morris said.
“We also continue to advocate for long-term extension of the federal Production Tax Credit to provide the stimulus needed for additional renewable energy development, Morris said. “At a time when the nation is looking for solutions to serious economic and energy issues, this important tax credit will provide a more stable basis for moving renewable energy forward.” Congress recently provided another short-term extension of the Production Tax Credit through the end of 2009.
The Majestic Wind agreement results from a SWEPCO request for proposals for renewable energy resources announced in April 2008. The Majestic Wind Farm is interconnected to the transmission system of Xcel Energy’s Southwestern Public Service Company subsidiary, which is part of the nine-state Southwest Power Pool, as is SWEPCO.
“The Majestic Wind Farm allows SWEPCO to tap into some of the best wind resources in the Texas Panhandle,” said Paul Chodak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “We are pleased to add this renewable resource to our generation mix, and we look forward to adding more renewable energy in the future,” he said.
“As we pursue renewable energy, as well as increased energy efficiency, we are working to ensure that our customers’ future electricity needs can be reliably and affordably met 24 hours a day,” Chodak said. “That’s why our strategy also includes the highly efficient ultra-supercritical coal unit and combined-cycle natural gas unit now under construction in Arkansas and Louisiana to meet baseload and intermediate needs. We believe this broad-based approach is both necessary and in the best interests of the customers we serve in three states.”