Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers (OIEC), and Walmart have reached a settlement agreement on PSO’s proposed Wind Catcher Energy Connection project. Together, PSO, OIEC, and Walmart are requesting the Oklahoma Corporation Commission approve the project under the terms of the settlement agreement – terms which collectively result in additional customer protections and significant savings guarantees.
PSO and Walmart first reached an agreement for approval of the project in March. The new agreement replaces that one and includes OIEC, a membership organization that comprises some of PSO’s largest users of electricity, as well as Walmart.
The new terms further ensure that customers will benefit from Wind Catcher by imposing additional limits on project construction costs, improving performance guarantees, and most notably, guaranteeing that customers will save money over at least the first 10 years. This will provide certainty for customers even if natural gas prices stay at historically low levels and there are changes to federal tax law that affect the economics of the project. In effect, the company is guaranteeing to make customers whole in the unlikely event that the project does not yield customer savings.
“We’re pleased to join Walmart and OIEC, two organizations representing some of our key business customers across the state, in asking the Commission to approve Wind Catcher,” said Stuart Solomon, PSO President and Chief Operating Officer. “With them on board, we’re hopeful the Commission will approve Wind Catcher so that all PSO customers can save money from this major investment in Oklahoma clean energy.
Wind Catcher is expected to save PSO customers around $2 billion net of its costs over the 25 years the project is in service.
“Wind Catcher will significantly lower costs for our customers and boost communities and schools in our state,” Solomon added. “This settlement agreement further demonstrates that Wind Catcher is good for customers.”