WFEC & NextEra Partnership Could Provide Future Savings for SWRE Members
WFEC, NextEra Energy Resources, planning largest combined wind, solar & energy storage facility in U.S.
>> 700-megawatt combined project first of its kind in region <<
ANADARKO, Okla. (July 23, 2019) - Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) today announced it has entered into a power purchase agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, for the largest combined wind, solar and energy storage project in the U.S.
“At Western Farmers, we are always looking for ways to better serve our customers with reliable, low-cost and environmentally-friendly energy,” said Gary Roulet, chief executive officer for WFEC. “With the price of wind and solar energy lower than ever, we are now able to pair it with battery storage to make more affordable, renewable energy* available to customers for more hours of the day – even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining,” he added.
The combined wind, solar and energy storage project is the first of its kind announced in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the electric grid region that includes Oklahoma and 13 other states in the central U.S. covering 546,000 square miles. It is also the largest co-located wind, solar and energy storage project in the U.S.
The project will come online in two phases:
Skeleton Creek Wind (previously announced) – 250 megawatts (MW) of wind energy, expected to begin operations by the end of 2019
Skeleton Creek Solar – 250 MW of solar energy, expected to begin operations by the end of 2023
Skeleton Creek Storage – 200 MW, 4-hour battery energy storage project, expected to begin operations by the end of 2023
“Pairing renewable energy with battery storage presents a tremendous advantage for Western Farmers and its customers,” said John Ketchum, president and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and the sun. “With this combined facility, we can optimize and maximize the amount of low-cost, emissions-free electricity we provide, while helping Western Farmers diversify its power generation portfolio, reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and set a great example for others to follow.”
The Skeleton Creek wind, solar and energy storage projects, once commercial, will help further diversify WFEC’s generation portfolio to consist of 521 MW of solar generation: 955 MW of wind generation and 270 MW of hydroelectric generation. Also, when completed, some 50 percent of WFEC nameplate capacity will include facilities generating electricity by wind, solar or hydroelectric power. *
The Skeleton Creek projects will be located in Garfield, Alfalfa and Major counties in Oklahoma. In addition to the clean energy they generate, they have the potential to stimulate the local economy by creating hundreds of construction jobs, full-time operational jobs, as well as millions of dollars in additional revenue for landowners and the local communities.
*WFEC purchases or produces energy from various wind & solar resources. However, WFEC has not historically, nor may not in the future, retain or retire all of the renewable energy certificates associated with the energy production from these facilities.
Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) is a generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative that provides essential electric service to 21 member cooperatives, Altus Air Force Base and other power users. These members are located primarily in Oklahoma and New Mexico, with some service territories extending into portions of Texas and Kansas. With offices in Anadarko and Moore, Oklahoma, WFEC owns and maintains over 3,750 miles of transmission line to over 330 substations and switch stations. WFEC maintains a well-balanced and diversified portfolio of generation resources that includes owned facilities and capacity and energy provided through power purchase agreements. For more information, please visit www.wfec.com.