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American Electric Power formally seeks to acquire 2,000-MW Okla. wind project

American Electric Power Co. Inc. filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to acquire the 2,000-MW Wind Catcher wind farm now under construction in Cimarron and Texas counties, Okla., from Invenergy Renewables LLC.

The transaction will take place in two steps. In the first step, an Invenergy LLC subsidiary will sell a controlling stake in States Edge Wind I Holding LLC, which controls the wind farm, to AEP utility subsidiaries Southwestern Electric Power Co. and Public Service Co. of Oklahoma.

In the second step, States Edge's interests in the wind facility and interconnection facilities will be distributed to the two AEP utilities, with Southwestern Electric acquiring 70% and Public Service of Oklahoma acquiring 30%. The utilities themselves are developing a roughly 350-mile transmission line from Cimarron County to an interconnection point near Tulsa, Okla., which is not involved in the transaction.

The wind farm will consist of 800 2.5-MW wind turbines provided by GE Renewable Energy and will be connected to the Southwest Power Pool market, according to a Dec. 21 FERC filing.

The commission has been asked to approve the transaction by April 30, 2018. The transaction, valued at $4.5 billion, will close at the completion of the project, which is expected to go online in 2020. (FERC docket EC18-40)