SWEPCO investment benefits Arkansas customers

Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s investment in clean energy resources will likely mean savings for its Texarkana, Arkansas, customers, but not its Texarkana, Texas, customers, an official said last week.

“Our intent would be to have a positive impact with the wind facilities in Oklahoma and provide a savings for customers,” said Peter Main, American Electric Power’s corporate communications manager. “The way it was is we acquire a facility and our rates pay for the facilities but wind and solar are free.”

The estimated amount of savings is not immediately known, Main said. He said savings are also expected to benefit wholesale customers in Bentonville, Hope and Prescott.

SWEPCO has one wind farm completed in north central Oklahoma and two additional wind farms under construction.

Last year, the Arkansas Public Service Commission approved the wind farm projects in Oklahoma to provide energy. However, the Public Utilities Commission of Texas didn’t approve its Oklahoma-based wind farms, which means power generated from them will not be used in Texas.

The Louisiana and Oklahoma utility commissions have also approved Southwestern Electric Power’s plans to purchase these wind farms when construction is complete.

The wind farms will tap into some of the country’s best wind resources. These facilities are directly connected to the transmission grid that serves Southwestern Electric Power customers, according to the its website.

SWEPCO will own 810 megawatts of the generating capacity. Its sister utility, Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, will own 675 megawatts.

On Monday, the utility announced another round of requests for proposals for more wind farms and its foray into seeking a solar farm to expand its clean energy offerings.

Requests for proposals are due by Aug. 12 with March 2022 slated for consideration at each states’ regulatory agency.

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