Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), an operating unit of American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP), has signed 20 year power purchase agreements (PPA) with NextEra Energy Resource (NextEra) and Horizon Wind Energy LLC (Horizon Wind) to purchase around 198 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy from two Oklahoma wind farms. As per the PPAs, PSO will purchase 98.9 MW from a wind farm, being developed by NextEra, and 99 MW from an expansion of Blue Canyon facilities of Horizon Wind.
The wind farm, being developed by NextEra is located in Elk city, Oklahoma. Blue Canyon facilities are located in north of Lawton, Oklahoma.
Both sites are expected to be operational by December 31, 2008. The PPAs are part of PSO’s long-term energy supply plan and are subject to approval by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
Including the new PSO agreements, AEP’s generation mix includes 310 MW of wind turbines owned and operated by AEP in Texas and another 1,120 MW of long-term wind energy purchase agreements for a total of 1,430 MW of wind energy in the company’s generation portfolio.
“Wind energy can play an important role in our ongoing efforts to balance our customers’ demands for electricity with the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “With these agreements, AEP has contracted to add 653 megawatts of renewable wind energy to our generation mix in just the last two years, and we are on target to achieve our voluntary goal of adding 1,000 megawatts of new renewable generation to serve our customers by 2011.”
“Renewable generation development is an important part of any strategy to address climate change. To help facilitate additional wind and solar energy development, we need to end the uncertainty that stifles investment by putting in place long-term support for renewable energy projects,” Morris said.
“We also need federal support for interstate transmission siting to enable development of a very efficient transmission superhighway to transport renewable energy from where it is most viable to population and electricity load centers. Interstate transmission lines are a critical piece of infrastructure that don’t require a federal handout but would greatly benefit from federal siting authority to reduce risk and encourage private investment,” Morris added.