Oklahoma Judge Dismisses AG Motion Against Wind Catcher

Posted by Betsy Lillian on August 29, 2017 No Comments
Categories : New & Noteworthy

A motion to reject Public Service Co. of Oklahoma’s (PSO) pre-approval request for the 2 GW Wind Catcher facility has been dismissed in court.

PSO and Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) are asking utility regulators in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma to approve plans to purchase the Invenergy wind farm upon completion of construction, as well as to build the associated power line to serve PSO’s and SWEPCO’s customers.

Earlier this month, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said construction on the project began before the utility applied for pre-approval, which includes a waiver from competitive bidding rules. However, waivers must be submitted before construction starts, according to the motion.

Now, NewsOK reports that Oklahoma Corporation Commission Administrative Law Judge Mary Candler denied Hunter’s motion last Thursday “without comment.” However, PSO must still pay for “witness fees and other case costs for the attorney general’s office,” the report says.

The GE-powered wind farm is expected to be fully operational in mid-2020. Invenergy is contracted to operate the facility for the first five years; then, SWEPCO will own 70%, including 1,400 MW of wind, and PSO will own 30%, including 600 MW of wind.

After the attorney general filed the motion, PSO had responded that the giant wind farm “must be completed in a time frame that wouldn’t be feasible with the process required by the competitive bidding rules.”

The wind farm, which will be the U.S.’ biggest, also needs approval in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas, as well as from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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