“UPDATED: Texas Regulators Fear Customer Risk from Wind Catcher”
Regulators threw a wrench in American Electric Power’s massive Wind Catcher Energy Connection on Thursday, expressing concerns over whether the company will protect ratepayers from the project’s risks.
Public Utility Commission Chair DeAnn Walker made that clear following oral arguments in the contested proceeding involving AEP subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Co. and several consumer groups (Docket No. 47461).
…“This project is not needed in any traditional sense,” said TIEC’s Rex VanMiddlesworth, pointing to AEP’s argument that Wind Catcher will provide a hedge against higher natural gas prices. “All these parties that have dug into that — staff, the cities and OPUC — have disagreed with that and have presented [countering] evidence. If [SWEPCO’s estimate] was the case, we’d all be saying we want it, like we did for the [Xcel] wind facility.”