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Massachusetts Poised to Target More Offshore Wind

LCG, August 2, 2018--The Massachusetts Legislature approved H4857, An Act to Advance Clean Energy, on Tuesday that includes: an increase in the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) goals to 35 percent by 2030, a 1,000 MW energy storage goal by 2025, and a path to install an additional 1,600 MW of offshore wind capacity. With the current goal of installing 1,600 MW of offshore wind capacity, the total offshore wind capacity would be 3,200 MW. The legislation will now be received by the Governor of Massachusetts.

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Pattern Development Completes Power Purchase Agreements for 200 MW Wind Project in New Mexico

LCG, August 1, 2018--Pattern Energy Group 2 LP (Pattern Development) yesterday announced it has signed 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) and Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) to deliver wind power from the 200 MW Duran Mesa Wind project currently in development near Corona, New Mexico. SVCE has signed a PPA for 110 MW, and MBCP has signed a PPA for 90 MW.

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Industry News

SWEPCO Announces Louisiana Settlement Agreement for the Proposed Wind Catcher Energy Connection

LCG, May 17, 2018--Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), a unit of American Electric Power (AEP), announced a settlement agreement April 13 in the Louisiana Public Service Commission's (LPSC) review of SWEPCO's request for approval of the proposed Wind Catcher Energy Connection, a 2,000-MW wind farm under construction in the Oklahoma Panhandle. The agreement includes SWEPCO, the LPSC General Staff, and Walmart Stores, Inc. and Sam's West, Inc.

The Wind Catcher project is the largest single-site wind project in the nation and is estimated to cost $4.5 billion. The project includes the acquisition of the wind farm and the construction of a 360-mile dedicated generation tie line to the Tulsa area, where the existing electrical grid will deliver the electricity to customers. SWEPCO will own 70 percent of the project, and its affiliate, Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO), will own 30 percent. The project developer is Invenergy, and SWEPCO and PSO will purchase the facility at completion, which is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020.

SWEPCO agreed to provide a number of guarantees, including a cap on construction costs, qualification for 100 percent of the federal Production Tax Credits, minimum annual production from the project, and others. By joint motion to be filed soon, the parties will ask the Commission to approve the project under terms of the settlement agreement.

SWEPCO's vice president of External Affairs stated, "We are extremely pleased with this settlement agreement as the Wind Catcher project is an exceptional opportunity to reduce customers' electric bills, bring more clean and affordable energy to homes and businesses, and further diversify the generation resources serving our Louisiana customers."

"Walmart has a goal to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, and sourcing from wind energy projects - like the Wind Catcher project - is a core component in the mix," said Walmart's vice president of energy. "The energy procured by SWEPCO from this project represents an important leap forward on our renewable energy journey."

SWEPCO estimates that the project will save its customers more than $4 billion, net of cost, over the 25-year life of the wind farm. Cost savings include no fuel cost for wind; full value of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), which is available for construction of new wind farm projects; and the cost-efficient delivery of the wind generation to customers through the new, dedicated power line.

The Wind Catcher project is subject to approval by utility commissions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma, as well as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The agreement in the Louisiana proceeding follows a February 20, 2018, agreement filed in the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) review of the project. Decisions are pending in SWEPCO's applications for approval in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas, and PSO's application in Oklahoma.
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