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PSO guarantees customer protections as Corporation Commission considers rate hike for solar, wind projects

Three wind turbines against a cloudy gray sky.
Wind Energy Technologies Office
/
U.S. Department of Energy

Public Service Company Oklahoma is one step closer to raising energy bills to pay for solar and wind projects. The company has reached a settlement with Attorney General Gentner Drummond and customer advocacy groups to protect customers weary of rate hikes.

If the Corporation Commission approves this agreement, PSO could build three new solar farms and three wind farms in Kansas and Texas. They’re expected to produce a combined 995 megawatts — enough electricity to power over 16,000 homes.

When it proposed these projects in November, PSO said they will “help provide long-term stability in energy costs.” The company has already hiked rates twice since December 2021.

According to a press release from Drummond’s office, the projects would add $1.95 to the average PSO customer’s bill in 2025. But ultimately clean energy tax credits and lower fuel costs are expected to shrink the average monthly bill by $2.58.

The agreement caps the projects’ combined budget at nearly $2.5 billion. If they end up costing more, PSO can’t charge customers to make up the difference. If PSO fails to deliver on its side of the agreement, the company will have to pay customers back.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission still needs to decide whether to approve the rate hikes for these projects.

Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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