This week, North America’s largest privately-held renewable energy company, Chicago, IL-based Invenergy, announced plans for a 2,000-megawatt wind farm in the Oklahoma panhandle.
The Wind Catcher facility, which has been under construction since 2016, will be the largest wind farm in the U.S. and be home to 800 2.5 megawatt turbines from GE Renewable Energy that will be manufactured in the U.S.
The machine heads and hubs will be manufactured in the U.S., and additional components will be manufactured in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.
The Alta Wind Energy Centre in California is currently the largest wind farm in the U.S. with an operational capacity of 1,020 MW, and plans to expand to 1,550 MW. The second largest wind farm is in Eastern Oregon, the 845 MW Shepherds Flat Wind Farm.
The new wind farm is part of the $4.5 billion Wind Catcher Energy Connection that will link more than 1.1 million U.S. customers via an approximately 350-mile dedicated, extra-high voltage power line.
Subsidiaries of the American Electric Power utility are asking regulators in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma to approve plans to purchase the wind farm from Invenergy once construction is complete, and then they will build the extensive power line.
According to Invenergy, the Wind Catcher Energy Connection could save customers more than $7 billion over a 25-year period. American Electric Power thinks that the project can support about 4,000 direct, and 4,400 indirect jobs during construction, and 80 permanent jobs once its operational.
The wind farm is expected to be fully operational by mid-2020.