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AEP's 2,000-MW Wind Catcher Project Faces Challenge at Oklahoma Corporation Commission

LCG, February 14, 2018--An Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) administrative law judge on Monday recommended against preapproval of Public Service Co. of Oklahoma's request to to charge its ratepayers to support partial ownership of the 2,000-MW Wind Catcher project and to use some of the electricity generated by the project. The utility, a subsidiary of of American Electric Power (AEP), is requesting authorization to recover estimated costs of about $1.36 billion to become part-owner of the Wind Catcher project and to construct a 765-kV transmission line to deliver electricity to a Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO) substation north of Tulsa.

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AEP's Clean Energy Strategic Vision Plans to Reduce Carbon Emissions 80 Percent from 2000 levels by 2050

LCG, February 8, 2018--American Electric Power (AEP) Monday released a report outlining the company's strategy for a clean energy future. The strategy includes new carbon dioxide emission reduction goals and investments in renewable resources and advanced technologies to enhance the efficiency of the power grid.

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Industry News

Owners Plan to Keep Navajo Generating Station Open through 2019

LCG, February 16, 2017--The utility owners of Navajo Generating Station (NGS) voted yesterday to extend operations of the coal-fired power plant to the December 2019 end of its lease if an agreement can be reached with the Navajo Nation. The four utility owners of NGS include: Salt River Project (SRP), Arizona Public Service Co., NV Energy and Tucson Electric Power. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is the fifth owner.

Rather than closing the plant in 2017, the over two-year extension of the agreement would preserve continued employment at the plant and additional revenues for the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe. It would also provide the Nation or others with the potential to operate the plant beyond 2019 should they so choose - although the current non-governmental group does not intend to be participants at that time.

The 2,250-MW electric generating station is located on the Navajo Indian Reservation near Page, Arizona, approximately 20 miles from the Grand Canyon. The station includes three, 750-MW units.

The utility owners of NGS see low natural gas prices that favor gas-fired generation over coal-fired generation like NGS. An SRP representative stated, "The utility owners do not make this decision lightly. NGS and its employees are one reason why this region, the state of Arizona and the Phoenix metropolitan area have been able to grow and thrive. However, SRP has an obligation to provide low-cost service to our more than 1 million customers and the higher cost of operating NGS would be borne by our customers."

The SRP representative stated that the owners' focus now is to secure an agreement with the Navajo Nation that would allow the plant to continue to operate through the end of its lease on December 22, 2019 and allow removal and restoration activities, which could take up to two years. SRP's announcement stated that these discussions are critical because without an agreement between the owners and the Navajo Nation, the plant would be required to cease operations this year.
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