Following an extensive public involvement process, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) has announced major progress in bringing the benefits of the $4.5 billion Wind Catcher Energy Connection to customers announcing the approximately 360-mile power line route for the project.
After considering multiple alignments and study segments, the line generally follows a more northerly route among the line routes considered. Additionally, the company identified three areas where additional public input is needed before portions of the route are finalized.
Wind Catcher will bring low-cost, renewable energy and jobs to Oklahoma and provide new tax revenue for the state, schools and local governments. Wind Catcher, a joint effort between PSO and Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), will harness wind energy from the western panhandle of Oklahoma and deliver it to customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma, as well as parts of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.
As part of the power line routing process the company took public input on potential line routes. PSO held 11 open houses across northern Oklahoma in the fall. More than 900 people attended the events. In addition, the company collected comments through the Wind Catcher website, direct mail, email and phone calls. Community feedback was essential in developing the proposed route.
“At PSO we are committed to working with landowners and the community to bring the benefits of Wind Catcher to customers,” said John Harper, PSO vice president, external affairs. “In addition to bringing customers some of the lowest-cost power available, the communities along the line route will see approximately $300 million in additional property taxes over the next 25 years.”
The company will begin working with landowners along the portions of the line route needing additional study this month. There are three segments along the proposed route where the company will collect additional landowner and community comment before making refinements to those areas. Three community open houses are scheduled for January.
The open houses are scheduled from 4-7 p.m. on the following dates and locations:
• Monday, Jan. 29: Pawnee Women’s Building, Pawnee Country Fairgrounds, 510 W. Memorial, Pawnee
• Tuesday, Jan. 30: Woodward Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall B, 108 Temple Houston Dr., Woodward
• Enid Event Center, Grand Ballroom, 301 S. Independence, Enid
The open house events are set up in a workshop format. Attendees can talk with project team members, review detailed maps and provide input. Electrical planners, engineers, routing experts, right-of-way agents and construction representatives will be present to answer questions. Guests can come and go anytime during the events since there is no formal presentation.
Development of the line route began in the summer of 2017. The overall project is expected to deliver wind energy to customers by the end of 2020.
For more information, including a map of the proposed line route, please visit the project website.
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