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After Texas Rejection, Utility Cancels Nation’s Largest Wind Farm Under Construction In Oklahoma

Aerial view of the Wind Catcher site in Oklahoma’s Panhandle.
AEP
Aerial view of the Wind Catcher site in Oklahoma’s Panhandle.";

American Electric Power on Friday canceled construction of the largest U.S. wind farm in the Oklahoma Panhandle after utility regulators in Texas rejected the project.

The Ohio-based company started work on the $4.5 billion Wind Catcher project in 2016. By 2020, the wind farm was expected to deliver 2,000 megawatts from 800 turbines, which would have made it the largest wind farm in the country and the second-largest in the world.

Wind Catcher was awaiting approval from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission through the company’s subsidiary utility Public Service Company of Oklahoma. The project would have included a 350-mile transmission line to carry electricity from the Panhandle to a substation in Tulsa and onto customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.

AEP pulled the plug on Wind Catcher after the Public Utility Commission of Texas voted unanimously to reject approval of the project, saying it didn’t do enough for ratepayers there.

“We are disappointed with the decision in Texas that resulted in the cancelation of the project. Wind Catcher represented an extraordinary opportunity to provide our customers with low cost, clean Oklahoma energy and create a positive economic impact across the state,” Steven Fate, PSO’s vice president of regulatory and finance, said in a statement.

 

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Joe was a founding reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma (2011-2019) covering the intersection of economic policy, energy and environment, and the residents of the state. He previously served as Managing Editor of Urban Tulsa Weekly, as the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Oklahoma Gazette and worked as a Staff Writer for The Oklahoman. Joe was a weekly arts and entertainment correspondent for KGOU from 2007-2010. He grew up in Bartlesville, Okla. and studied journalism at the University of Central Oklahoma.
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