A 2,000-megawatt wind farm described as “the largest in the U.S. and second-largest in the world, once operational” is being developed in northwest Oklahoma by General Electric’s GE Renewable Energy division and Invenergy, a Chicago-based developer and operator of wind farms and energy-storage centers.
The Wind Catcher project will have 800 2.5-MW turbines supplied by GE, which noted it would manufacture all of the turbine machine heads and hubs domestically. Other system components also will be manufactured in the U.S.
Construction of the wind farm has been under development since last year, and it is expected to be fully operational in mid-2020. According to a GE announcement, up to 1.1 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas would be supplied with electricity generated by the wind farm. Invenergy is contracted to operate Wind Catcher for the first five years.
In addition to supplying the turbines, GE Renewable Energy will provide software to support the wind-power operations, including Asset Performance Management (APM) and Operations Optimization (OO).
The value of the wind farm project has not been specified by GE or Invenergy, but the larger development — the Wind Catcher Energy Connection — is forecast at $4.5 billion.
In addition to hundreds of towers and turbines, the Wind Catcher Energy Connection development will include an approximately 350-mile long, dedicated, extra-high voltage power line. As currently conceived, two utilities (Public Service Co. of Oklahoma and Southwestern Electric Power Co., both American Electric Power subsidiaries) will buy the Wind Catcher wind farm from Invenergy and then to build the power line to serve PSO and SWEPCO customers.
GE Renewable Energy develops wind turbine technologies, manufactures turbines and component parts, and services for onshore and offshore wind power plants, hydro plants, and others technologies like concentrated solar power.
The turbines destined for the Wind Catcher project are GE’s 2.0-2.5MW, 116-m rotor wind turbine that it explains offer a 27% increase in “swept area,” meaning its capable of greater energy capture and improved project economics for wind developers.