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Wind Energy: Electricity and Economic Potential in Oklahoma

Background

U.S Department of Energy

The U.S Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's map of wind energy potential.

Wind energy is expanding in Oklahoma, especially in western parts of the state.

As a resource, Oklahoma’s wind ranks No. 9 in the nation, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Oklahoma has 3,134 megawatts of “installed wind capacity,” AWEA data show.

In 2013, 14.8 percent of the electricity generated in Oklahoma came from wind-power, which means the state ranked No. 7 nationally, the trade group’s data show.

Oklahoma ranked No. 4 for total wind-energy generated in 2013 — 10.8 million megawatt hours, according to the AWEA.

Several wind farms are under construction, and Gov. Mary Fallin and commerce officials hope the state will become a center for manufacturing turbines and towers. The jobs potential has led several state technical schools to start programs to train and certify workers in repairing and servicing wind turbines.

Wind energy is largely unregulated in Oklahoma, and local governments have been dealing with disputes between landowners and property developers over wind farm projects.

In the 2013 Oklahoma Legislative session, two bills were proposed that could impact Oklahoma’s wind industry. Senate Bill 1440 would impose a moratorium on wind farms east of Interstate 35, while SB 1559 would establish setbacks, noise limits, and rules about how turbines would be decommissioned.

Latest Posts

Lawmaker to Propose Legislation Changing Tax Incentives for New Wind Farms

Oklahoma Representative Earl Sears, is planning to file legislation modifying tax credits and incentives used by wind energy developers. The legislation by Sears, R-Bartlesville, would only affect new wind projects and would target three tax credits used by the wind industry: Zero Emission Energy Generation, the five-year ad valorem exemption for manufacturers and other firms, [...]

Scrutiny of Subsidies Could Test the Economics of Wind Energy in Oklahoma

A NextEra Renewable Energy Resources wind farm site near Elk City, Okla.

The 2015 session is still months away, but the newly elected Oklahoma Legislature has already started talking about how to divvy up roughly $7 billion in state appropriations. Some prominent lawmakers are promising to re-examine tax credits and economic incentives worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Some of those incentives are used for wind energy, [...]

Debate About Competition and Cost at Senate Panel on Wind Incentives

Frank Robson, a wind farm opponent and property developer from Claremore, Okla., at an Oct. 21 Senate hearing on tax incentives for the wind industry.

Members of the state Senate Finance Committee heard testimony on Tuesday from the wind industry and a representative of a group of property owners pushing for stricter regulation of wind farms. The Senate study centered on the cost-benefit of tax credits and incentives used by the wind industry. Supporters said Oklahoma’s incentives attract projects that [...]

Residents File Class-Action Lawsuit to Block Wind Turbines Near Kingfisher

The 147-megawatt Weatherford Wind Energy Center.

Seven landowners filed a class-action lawsuit this week to prevent wind turbines from being built near their homes in Canadian and Kingfisher counties. In the complaint, which is embedded above, the landowners claim that planned wind farm projects controlled by Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy would create a nuisance, devalue their property and adversely affect their [...]

Why Oklahoma’s Wind Energy Future Could be Shaped by Osage County

Bob Hamilton, director of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska, Okla.

Oklahoma is moving up the national ranks in wind-generated electricity. But as wind farms expand into northeastern Oklahoma, developers are facing a team of unlikely allies: oil interests and environmentalists. Wind farm developers encounter opposition wherever projects are planned, but the debate in Oklahoma is perhaps most magnified in Osage County, where there’s a confluence [...]

Wind Projects in Osage County Dividing ‘Neighbors and Families’

Wind energy companies have high hopes for Osage County. It’s windy, of course, but unlike other windy areas of western Oklahoma, Osage County is a lot closer to the heavy-duty electrical infrastructure needed to transport power from turbines to the grid. Wind farms have met resistance in other Oklahoma communities, but opposition to the Osage [...]

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