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OGE Energy focusing on moving past environmental compliance projects

OGE Energy Corp. expects to file rate cases in two states by year-end related to environmental compliance and grid modernization projects.

The company recently reached a settlement on its rate case for full recovery of its investment to modernize the Mustang Energy Center in Canadian County, Okla. The settlement also provided for a regulatory asset mechanism to recover future costs related to the scrubber project at the Sooner power plant in Noble County, Okla. The new rates took effect on July 1.

Company executives said during the Aug. 9 earnings call that Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. plans to file another rate review in Oklahoma at the end of 2018. "I think this upcoming case, just like the previous case, is going to be very straightforward. It is about the recovery of the Sooner investments and to a smaller degree the conversion of the 2 Muskogee units to natural gas," OGE Chairman, President and CEO Robert Sean Trauschke said.

OGE has completed construction of the unit 1 scrubber at Sooner and is currently doing final testing. It expects completion of the Muskogee unit 2 conversion by January 2019.

It will also make its first formula rate filing in Arkansas in October. Trauschke noted that the company is resuming focus on grid modernization, beginning in the state.

"We have clear line of sight there to the recovery mechanisms. Regulatory outcomes are very important to our investment decisions and so therefore, that line of sight recovery is key, so to the extent that we have better line of sight, and I'm confident we will in Oklahoma, we could see capital expenditures increase," said Trauschke.