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Distributed Energy Resources

Okla. co-located facility includes 200-MW, four-hour battery storage

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) on July 23 said it has entered into a power purchase agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources for a combined wind, solar and energy storage project.

WFEC said the combined wind, solar and energy storage project is the first of its kind announced in the Southwest Power Pool, 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., according to WFEC.

The project will come online in two phases:

  • Skeleton Creek Wind (previously announced): 250 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.

WFEC said 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.

WFEC noted that it purchases or produces energy from various wind and 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.”

WFEC is a generation and transmission cooperative that provides electric service to 21 member cooperatives, Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma and other power users. The members are located primarily in Oklahoma and New Mexico, with some service territories extending into portions of Texas and Kansas.