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Citing "extraordinary pricing opportunities," Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO) has decided to enter deals for 600 MW of wind power, even though the utility had originally only sought 200 MW.

PSO says it signed 20-year renewable energy purchase agreements (REPAs) for a total 598.7 MW from three wind projects currently under development in Oklahoma. If approved by regulators, the contracts would provide PSO with energy beginning Jan. 1, 2016.

The new REPAs are a result of a request for proposals issued June 10, 2013, through which PSO sought long-term purchases of up to 200 MW of new wind. The utility says it decided to contract for an additional 400 MW because of low prices, and the company expects it could save an estimated $53 million in the first year of the contracts. To boot, annual savings are anticipated to grow each year over the lives of the deals.

“With these long-term power purchase agreements, we’re adding a significant amount of Oklahoma wind energy, bringing more diversity to our fuel mix, and doing so at a price that will provide substantial savings for our customers,” says Stuart Solomon, PSO president and chief operating officer.

When deliveries of energy from the three new REPAs commence in 2016, PSO, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, will have a total 1,137 MW of wind under contract. The new series of 20-year agreements includes the following:

- 198.9 MW from Seiling Wind LLC, owned by NextEra Energy Resources and
located in Dewey County;

- 200 MW from the Goodwell Wind Project LLC, owned by TradeWind Energy and
located in Texas County; and

- 199.8 MW from Apex Clean Energy’s 300 MW Balko Wind project, located in Beaver County. According to Apex, the development and construction of the Balko project will provide an estimated $430 million investment in the region, and the wind farm is expected to come online in 2015.






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