Courtesy / SWEPCO

In mid-March, SWEPCO, Southwestern Electric Power Company, announced reaching a settlement agreement to purchase several new wind generation and transmission facilities in north central Oklahoma. Spokesperson Peter Main says, pending final public service approval, the wind farms, which will go online late 2021, will add 810 megawatts of renewable energy to the utility's resource mix.

The proposed Wind Catcher Energy Connection Project will generate 6 million megawatt-hours of new wind energy. The project is expected to save customers more than $5 billion over the 25-year life of the wind farm.

A University of Arkansas research team surveyed hundreds of Northwest Arkansas political and business leaders on state energy policy issues. The study stems from a surge of interest in the local electrical grid over the past year, due to controversy over a proposed 60-mile long interstate power transmission line that would cut a wide swath through north Benton and Carroll Counties.