Southwestern Electric Power Co. on Monday announced plans to add 810 megawatts of wind energy by 2022. This proposal supports SWEPCO’s long-term plan of significantly increasing its use of more environmentally friendly energy sources, such as wind and solar.
In filings submitted today, SWEPCO seeks approval of the proposal from utility regulators in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. The proposal is also subject to review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
“Our long-range plan moves SWEPCO toward a cleaner energy future with more low-cost, renewable energy as part of our diverse energy mix,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “Along with the environmental benefits, this additional wind energy will save customers money for years to come, helping families, businesses and the local economy,” Smoak said.
SWEPCO’s long-term strategy calls for more than one-third of the energy required by customers to be generated from wind and solar resources. Under this long-term plan, coal-fueled generation drops from 83% to 44% of the company’s resource mix. Wind energy increases from 9% to 26%, and solar is introduced and grows to 10%. Natural gas grows from 7% to 19%.
SWEPCO is moving toward its renewable energy targets with the proposed addition of 810 MW of wind generation – enough to power 200,000 homes.
“Our customers want cleaner energy,” Smoak said. “Many have renewable energy and sustainability goals of their own, and this addition of wind energy to SWEPCO’s resource mix will help them meet those goals.”
Under SWEPCO’s proposal, customers will save an estimated $2 billion over the 30-year expected life of the wind facilities.
SWEPCO is pursuing its proposal to acquire three Oklahoma wind generation facilities in conjunction with its sister company, Public Service of Oklahoma. The portion of the wind generation allocated to each state may be adjusted depending on regulatory approvals. The projects were identified through a competitive bidding process. One of the projects is projected to be completed by the end of 2020. The other projects will be completed by the end of 2021.
SWEPCO currently serves customers with 469 MW of wind energy under power purchase agreements.