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As part of suit settlement, swepco buys wind energy.

American Electric Power subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Co., or Swepco, said Wednesday that it had signed long-term agreements to buy renewable energy from wind projects in three states as part of a settlement agreement with environmentalists.

Swepco said it had contracted to buy 358.65 megawatts of renewable energy from Canadian Hills Wind near Oklahoma City, High Majestic Wind II in the Texas Panhandle and Flat Ridge 2 Wind Energy southwest of Wichita, Kan.

Under a separate agreement, Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, which with Swepco is a co-owner of the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant in Fulton (Hempstead County), will buy 49.2 megawatts of wind power for its own customers.

Swepco said the agreements would "more than quadruple" its wind energy portfolio.

"With these long-term power purchase agreements, we have added a substantial amount of wind energy to serve Swepco customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, and we have combined efforts with a Turk Plant partner to exceed the 400-megawatt commitment in our Turk plant settlement," said Nicholas K. Akins, the president and chief executive officer of American Electric Power, the publicly traded firm that owns Swepco.

In December, Swepco announced that it had had settled lawsuits over the Turk plant brought against it by the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society and Audubon Arkansas.

The settlement includes a provision that Swepco and its affiliates build or secure 400 megawatts of new renewable energy resources by the end of 2014.

Glen Hooks, a senior campaign representative of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, characterized the agreements as part of a "clean energy revolution."

The environmental groups, along with private landowners, had sued Swepco over the $1.7 billion plant, which is still under construction in the small southwest Arkansas town. They claimed construction was destroying wetlands.
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Title Annotation:Energy
Author:Turner, Lance
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jan 30, 2012
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