POWER Magazine Quotes Greg Jenner on the Causes Underlying the Demise of AEP’s $4.5B Wind Project

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Tax attorney Greg Jenner was quoted in POWER magazine in an article titled “Losing Regulatory Approval Gamble, AEP Scraps $4.5B Wind Project,” published July 30, 2018. The article discusses the reasons behind American Electric Power’s (AEP) abandonment of its $4.5 billion Wind Catcher project, which was one of AEP’s largest planned investments as part of the company’s strategy of reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent from 2000 levels by 2030.

For the project, AEP would have acquired a 2-GW wind farm in the Oklahoma Panhandle and built a 350-mile dedicated power line that would carry wind power to the Tulsa area. The project would have used 800 GE turbines and was planned for completion by 2020.

AEP needed approval from regulators in several states to proceed with the project, and Jenner believes the project was doomed in part by the denial by the Public Utility Commission of Texas of the company’s application for a certification of convenience and necessity authorization and related relief for the connection project in Oklahoma.

“Because of IRS guidelines, [AEP] likely expected that the facility had to be placed in service by the end of 2020 in order to capture the PTC. This placed a huge premium on getting immediate approval from the Texas PUC,” he said. “When that approval was not forthcoming, AEP apparently decided to cancel.”

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