Invenergy, North America’s largest independent, privately-held renewable energy company, along with GE Renewable Energy, today announced a 2,000-megawatt wind farm that will be the largest in the U.S. and second-largest in the world, once operational. The Wind Catcher facility is currently under construction in the Oklahoma panhandle and will generate wind electricity from 800 state-of-the-art GE 2.5 megawatt turbines.
The wind facility is part of the $4.5 billion Wind Catcher Energy Connection that also includes an approximately 350-mile dedicated, extra-high voltage power line. American Electric Power (AEP) utility subsidiaries Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO) and Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) are asking utility regulators in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma to approve plans to purchase the wind farm from Invenergy upon completion of construction and to build the power line to serve PSO and SWEPCO’s more than 1.1 million customers.
“Wind Catcher shows American leadership in bringing low-cost clean energy to market at giga scale,” said Invenergy’s Founder and CEO Michael Polsky. “This project reflects Invenergy’s innovative spirit and unparalleled execution ability, and we are proud to be working with forward-looking utilities like PSO and SWEPCO whose customers and communities will benefit from this project for decades to come.”
Wind Catcher Energy Connection is expected to save SWEPCO and PSO customers more than $7 billion, net of cost, over 25 years. AEP estimates that the project will support approximately 4,000 direct and 4,400 indirect jobs annually during construction and 80 permanent jobs once operational. It also will contribute approximately $300 million in property taxes over the life of the project.
The 2.5 megawatt GE turbines that will power the project are GE’s latest model, designed to enhance siting efficiency, offer industry-leading reliability and allow for higher energy production. GE will also implement its Digital Wind Farm solutions, providing software to support wind operations including Asset Performance Management (APM) and Operations Optimization (OO). All machine heads and hubs will be manufactured in the U.S., and additional components will be manufactured in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.
“GE is delighted to be a part of the groundbreaking Wind Catcher project with Invenergy and American Electric Power,” said Pete McCabe, President and CEO of GE’s Onshore Wind business. “We look forward to putting our teams to work in these communities as we continue to move toward our goal of ensuring that no one has to choose between sustainable, reliable and affordable energy.”
Construction of the Wind Catcher facility started in 2016, and it is expected to be fully operational in mid-2020. Invenergy is contracted to operate the facility for the first five years.
Invenergy drives innovation in energy. Invenergy and its affiliated companies develop, own, and operate large-scale renewable and other clean energy generation and storage facilities in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Invenergy’s home office is located in Chicago and it has regional development offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Poland and Scotland.
Not including Wind Catcher, Invenergy and its affiliated companies have developed more than 15,900 megawatts of projects that are in operation, construction or under contract, including wind, solar, natural gas-fueled power generation and energy storage projects.
GE Renewable Energy is a $10 billion start-up that brings together one of the broadest product and service portfolios of the renewable energy industry. Combining onshore and offshore wind, hydro and innovative technologies such as concentrated solar power and more recently turbine blades, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts capacity globally to make the world work better and cleaner. With more than 22,000 employees present in more than 55 countries, GE Renewable Energy is backed by the resources of the world’s first digital industrial company. Our goal is to demonstrate to the rest of the world that nobody should ever have to choose between affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy.