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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

NRC Announces Plans to Issue New Reactor License to Dominion for North Anna Site

LCG, June 1, 2017--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) yesterday authorized the issuance of a Combined License (COL) for Dominion Virginia Power's North Anna site in Virginia. The license grants Dominion permission to build and operate an Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) design at the site, near Mineral, Virginia.

The Commission authorized the agency's Office of New Reactors to issue the license following a hearing on March 23. The Commission found the staff's review of Dominion's application to be adequate to make the necessary regulatory safety and environmental findings. The NRC expects to issue the license in the next few days.

Dominion has not committed to build the new unit; however, the COL provides the option to do so to meet projected its rapidly growing demand for electricity in Virginia.

The existing North Anna Nuclear Generating Station includes two Westinghouse pressurized water reactors (PWRs) that commenced operations in 1978 and 1980, respectively. The combined electric generating capacity of the two existing reactors is 1,790 MW. The NRC approved 20-year license extensions for Units 1 and 2 in March 2003.

The new license for Unit 3 contains conditions, including specific actions associated with the agency's post-Fukushima requirements.

The process to obtain a COL from the NRC is lengthy. Dominion submitted the North Anna application for an ESBWR adjacent to the company's two existing reactors to NRC on November 26, 2007. The NRC completed its environmental review and published the final impact statement for the proposed reactor in February 2010.

GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) submitted the Standard Design Certification to the NRC on August 24, 2005 for the 1,600-MW ESBWR, which uses natural circulation for normal operation and has passive safety features. The NRC certified the ESBWR design following a Commission vote in September 2014.

The NRC's Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards independently reviewed aspects of the application that concern safety, and the committee provided the results of its review to the Commission on November 15, 2016.
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