How to Make the Grid Secure

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Industry News

SWEPCO Signs Wind Power Agreements Related to Turk Coal Plant

LCG, January 31, 2012--Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), a unit of American Electric Power (AEP), announced last week that it executed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) totaling 358.65 MW of renewable power from wind projects in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Combined with a 49.2-MW PPA signed by the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA), SWEPCO and its affiliates have now exceeded the 400-MW renewable energy commitment incorporated in the legal settlement made last month relate to the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant.

The settlement addressed all legal actions from the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society and Audubon Arkansas related to the 600 MW, coal-fired power plant now under construction in southwest Arkansas. The settlement calls for SWEPCO and its affiliates to construct or secure 400 MW of new renewable energy resources by the end of 2014. The SWEPCO and OMPA agreements now total 407.85 MW. SWEPCO, which owns 73 percent of the $1.7 billion project, expects the facility to be operational by the end of this year.

The new, 20-year wind farm agreements include: three contracts totaling 201.25 MW from Canadian Hills Wind, LLC, owned by Apex Wind Energy Holdings, LLC and located in Canadian County, west of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; 79.6 MW from High Majestic Wind II, LLC, owned by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and located in Carson and Potter Counties in the Texas Panhandle; and 77.8 MW from Flat Ridge 2 Wind Energy, LLC, owned by BP Wind Energy and Sempra U.S. Gas and Power and located in Barber, Harper, Kingman and Sumner Counties, southwest of Wichita, Kansas. The three wind projects are expected to being delivering power to the grid by the end of this year.

OMPA, a co-owner of the Turk Plant, has signed a separate 25-year agreement for 49.2 MW from the Canadian Hills Wind project.

AEP president and chief executive officer stated, "With these long-term power purchase agreements, we have added a substantial amount of wind energy to serve SWEPCO customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, and we have combined efforts with a Turk Plant partner to exceed the 400-MW commitment in our Turk Plant settlement."

SWEPCO serves retail customers in western Arkansas, northwest and central Louisiana and eastern Texas. The Arkansas Public Service Commission approved the 600-MW, coal-fired
facility located in Hempstead County, Arkansas in 2007. However, the Arkansas Supreme Court reversed the decision.
Construction of the plant was also approved by the Louisiana Public Service Commission and Public Utility Commission of Texas in March 2008 and July 2008, respectively, to serve SWEPCO's Louisiana and Texas customers.

Construction began shortly after the air permit was received from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality in November 2008, and the coal project is now approximately 80 percent complete.
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