American Electric Power Co.’s (NYSE:AEP) proposal for the largest-ever U.S. wind-power project received a setback Monday.

The company failed to prove that customers should pay for the $4.5 billion Oklahoma project through power rates, Mary Candler, an administrative law judge in the state, said in a filing. Her non-binding recommendation will be considered by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which has final say on the projec

 American Electric wants advance approval from regulators in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas to buy the 2,000-megawatt Wind Catcher project that Invenergy LLC is developing. The project also calls for a 350-mile (563-kilometer) transmission line, and the utility is seeking to bake the costs into customer rates.

“A project at this price point must be done right,” Candler wrote in the filing. “An excuse of ‘not enough time’ for competitive bidding is not sufficient.”

American Electric has said a delay would risk $2.7 billion of production tax credits that would flow through to customers. It estimated that customers would save about $7 billion over 25 years as wind power displaces generation from natural-gas fueled plants.

Please Like And Share Our Content!