The Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) is hosting 11 community open houses, one of which is in Enid, to collect community and landowner feedback on a “Wind Catcher Energy Connection project.”
Community input will be sought on preliminary study segments to help determine a power line route for the Wind Catcher Energy Connection project, which the company says will bring renewable energy and jobs to the state.
“Talking with people in the community about our project is important,” said John Harper, PSO vice president of external affairs. “It helps us learn information that allows us to make better routing decisions, and it gives us a chance to answer questions the community may have.”
The $4.5 billion project, announced in July, includes acquiring a wind farm in Northwestern Oklahoma, a near 350-mile power line and two new substations. PSO said the facilities will bring about $300 million to local communities through property taxes during the next 25 years, and provide cost savings of more than $2 billion for customers.
The wind farm will comprise of about 800 2.5 MW wind turbines covering 300,000 acres in Cimarron and Texas counties. The power line will stretch from there to Tulsa and bring 2,000 megawatts of new wind energy to customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
Line route development on the project began during the summer, and is expected to deliver energy to customers by the end of 2020. There will be an estimated 4,440 temporary construction jobs, and 80 to 90 long-term jobs produced by the project, according to the company.
At the open house events, people can speak with project team members, review maps and provide information for use in determining the power line’s route. In addition, electrical planners, engineers, routing experts and construction representatives will be present to answer questions.
Each open house is scheduled from 4-7 p.m., and visitors can arrive and leave at any time, since no formal presentation will take place.
Enid’s open house event will be on Monday, Oct. 16, in the Chisholm Trail Expo Center Fairgrounds at 111 W. Purdue. Other nearby stops include Woodward’s County Event Center and Fairgrounds and Fairview’s Community Center on Wednesday, Oct. 18.
PSO, a unit of American Electric Power, is an electric utility company that serves more than 545,000 people in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma. The company has about 3,800 megawatts of generating capacity.
More information on the Wind Catcher Energy Connection project can be found at www.windcatcherenergy.com.
Story by: Enid News & Eagle
Written by: Ryan Miller