SWEPCO looks to buy up to 2,400 megawatts in wind, solar farms

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 352 views 

Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), a utility of Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power (AEP), wants to purchase up to 1,900 megawatts of wind resources and up to 500 megawatts of solar resources, according to a Thursday (Sept. 29) news release.

SWEPCO has requested bids to acquire wind and solar generation resources. The deadline for the proposals is Nov. 17.

Wind resources must be at least 100 megawatts, and solar resources must be at least 50 megawatts. All projects must interconnect to the Southwest Power Pool and be located in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas or Missouri.

According to the proposal request, the commercial operation for the solar and wind resources would be no later than Dec. 1, 2026, with a preference of being operational by Dec. 1, 2025. The projects would need regulatory approval in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. However, like in previous projects, if one state doesn’t approve the project, the other states could increase the amount of generation allotted for them, according to a presentation on the new proposal request.

Link here for more information on the proposal request.

The request comes two days after SWEPCO announced increasing rates for Arkansas customers. It was the second time in four months that the utility announced a rate rise.

In May, SWEPCO sought regulatory approval to purchase 999 megawatts of wind and solar resources after seeking proposals for up to 3,300 megawatts of renewable resources. According to the new proposal request presentation, the regulatory process for those resources is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2023.

SWEPCO has more than 543,000 customers in three states, including Arkansas.