PSO seeks OK of Fort Sill project

  • Project to bolster energy reliability and resilience at the Fort Sill U.S. Army post.

TULSA – Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO) has filed a request with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for approval of a $117.9 million project that would bolster energy reliability and resilience at the Fort Sill U.S. Army post.

The project would provide more clean energy to the power grid, add to the safety and security of grid modernization efforts, and increase energy supply diversity for PSO customers.

PSO announced June 26 that the company had signed a 30-year lease with the Army to install an energy resilience project on approximately 81 acres at Fort Sill. The site is in the East Range near Bentley Gate, according to Fort Sill’s public information office.

If approved by the Corporation Commission, the project will include construction of 36 megawatts (MW) of gas-fired electric generation and 10.9 MW of solar panels. While the proposed facilities will be located at Fort Sill, all of the energy generated would f low onto the electric grid to serve all PSO customers. In the case of an outage, the facilities could be isolated from the grid and provide enough power to sustain Fort Sill’s mission critical operations. 

If approved, construction on the project would begin in fall 2021. The solar facility would be operational in 2022, while the gas-fired generation would come online in late 2023.

Along with the initial 30-year lease, there is an option to extend for 10 additional years. PSO’s application includes a request for the company to recover the costs of the project.

PSO, a unit of American Electric Power, is an electric utility company serving more than 557,000 customer accounts in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma.

The utility’s service territory in southwest Oklahoma includes Altus, Apache, Cache, Carnegie, Cement, Cyril, Duncan, Elgin, Fletcher, Fort Cobb, Gotebo, Grandfield, Hobart, Hollis, Lawton, Lone Wolf, Manitou, Martha, Mountain Park, Mountain View, Roosevelt, Rush Springs, Snyder, Sterling, Temple, Terral, Tipton and Waurika.

Based in Tulsa, PSO owns approximately 3,800 megawatts of generating capacity fueled primarily by natural gas. It also maintains and operates 22,000 miles of distribution lines and 3,700 miles of transmission lines. PSO is one of the largest distributors of wind energy in the state.

Fort Sill is a hub of joint and multinational partnered training that covers almost 94,000 acres, including more than 80,000 acres of training land.

The post is home of the Fires Center of Excellence, which educates, trains, and inspires soldiers and leaders and develops requisite capabilities to ensure current and future forces can accomplish their missions.

Fort Sill is a designated National Historic Landmark and is home to the United States Army Field Artillery School as well as the Marine Corps’ site for Field Artillery Military Occupational Specialties school, United States Army Air Defense Artillery School, the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade and the 75th Field Artillery Brigade.