American Electric Power moves to buy 1GW in US southwest wind and solar in $2.2bn swoop
Developer American Electric Power (AEP) is seeking approval from regulators in US states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas to buy a trio of renewable energy projects totalling just under 1GW of capacity, including one of the largest PV arrays east of the Mississippi River.
The planned $2.2bn investment by AEP-owned Southwestern Electric Power (Swepco) encompasses the 200MW Mooringsport solar plant in northwest Louisiana, and the 598.4MW Wagon Wheel and 200.6MW Diversion wind farms in north-central Oklahoma and north Texas.
Chicago-based Invenergy is developing the three facilities. Diversion is due to enter commercial operation in December 2024, and Mooringsport and Wagon Wheel by the end of 2025.
Swepco’s long-term plan calls for more than one-third of its capacity accredited to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) to be satisfied with solar and wind resources. SPP manages the electric grid and wholesale electricity market in all or parts of 14 central states.
“This investment is another key step in Swepco’s efforts to secure renewable, affordable energy and achieve a more balanced fuel mix,” said Nick Atkins, CEO of AEP. “AEP remains focused on adding 16GW of regulated renewables to our generation portfolio by 2030 and reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Swepco serves western Arkansas and western Louisiana, and east Texas. It is one of seven utility subsidiaries owned by AEP, which also owns a competitive retail energy business.