SHREVEPORT, La. (KNWA/KFTA) — On May 31, Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) announced plans to add 999 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar energy by the end of 2025.
According to a press release, SWEPCO seeks approval of the proposal from utility regulators in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas in filings submitted on Friday, May 27.
One solar and two wind projects to be constructed by Invenergy and acquired by SWEPCO were identified through a competitive bidding process. They are:
- Mooringsport, a 200 MW solar facility located in Caddo Parish, Louisiana.
- Diversion, a 200.6 MW wind facility in Baylor County, Texas.
- Wagon Wheel, a 598.4 MW wind facility located in Garfield, Kingfisher, Logan, Payne, and Noble counties in Oklahoma.
“SWEPCO’s analysis of our generation needs showed that the lowest cost, best value option for capacity was adding wind and solar resources,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and Chief Operating Officer. “These projects will help save money for our customers.”
SWEPCO’s need for capacity is driven by the retirement of aging SWEPCO generation units, including the retirement of five gas units in 2019 and 2020, the retirement of Dolet Hills in 2021, and the announced 2023 retirement of the Pirkey Power Plant in Hallsville, Texas. With these retirements, SWEPCO is facing a capacity deficit beginning in 2023 that grows to 1,574 MW in 2028 after the retirement of other generating units.
SWEPCO intends to evaluate and/or conduct additional requests for proposals to explore more opportunities to add least-cost renewable generation and capacity in the coming years.
“We have worked to balance the remaining life and economic viability of each of our generating units with other options for generating power, including natural gas as well as renewables, in a resource mix that provides the best value and generates benefits for the environment,” Smoak said.
SWEPCO’s long-term strategy calls for more than one-third of its SPP-accredited capacity to be satisfied with wind and solar resources. SWEPCO also filed for approval of short-term capacity-only agreements from natural gas facilities operated by Oneta and JPower for additional capacity for 2023 through 2026.
In early February, SWEPCO announced plans to add 72.5 MW of solar energy through a purchased power agreement with the proposed Rocking R Solar project in Northwest Louisiana. In March, the 998-MW Traverse Wind Energy Center began operations. Traverse is the final and largest wind project of the North Central Energy Facilities in Oklahoma that generates 1,484 MW of clean energy.