Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

Topics

An Oklahoma wind turbine

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

Conservative, Environmental and Green-Energy Groups Fighting Solar Surcharge Bill

An “unlikely” coalition of environmentalists, solar advocates and conservative groups are opposing a bill that would allow electric utilities to levy a surcharge on customers who install rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines. “They aren’t exactly teaming up, ” but they’re all attacking Senate Bill 1456, authored by Sen. A.J. Griffin, R-Guthrie, The Oklahoman‘s [...]

Why Small Solar and Wind Generators Are Worried About Surcharge Legislation

Solar panel and wind turbine technology is improving rapidly, and many small-scale customers are excited by the potential to generate electricity and sell it — outright, or for credit — back to the grid. But proposed legislation, Senate Bill 1456, would levy a monthly surcharge on small generators, The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports. Wind and [...]

As Wind Energy Moves Into Eastern Oklahoma, Resistance Turns Political

Oklahoma is one of the country’s top wind-energy producers, and companies want to build more turbines across the state. For many landowners, wind farms can be a financial windfall. But as wind energy moves into regions unaccustomed to turbines, opponents have taken the fight to the state Capitol.

Oklahoma Moves Up the Ranks by Adding More Wind Energy to its Electricity Mix

Wind energy accounted for 14.8 percent of the electricity generated in Oklahoma in 2013, an American Wind Energy analysis of data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency show. Oklahoma now ranks No. 7 nationally, a step up from the No. 9 ranking the state earned in 2012 when wind power comprised 10.5 percent of the [...]

Oklahoma Senate Passes Bill Giving State More Authority to Regulate Wind Farms

Oklahoma is a major wind-energy state, but some landowners and communities have turned their backs on turbines. Some oppose wind farms for purely aesthetic reasons, or because they feel fields of turbines will hurt their property value. Turbine noise and “shadow flicker” are big complaints, too, and some people have raised safety questions about ice [...]

Wind Energy Construction Boom Fueled By Threat of Expiring Federal Tax Credit

The looming Dec. 31 expiration of the federal production tax credit for renewable energy helped drive a last-minute rush to start construction on wind energy projects around the country and in Oklahoma. Developers had to start construction by 2013 to qualify, The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports, “but the wind industry fears another bust if the [...]

After Year-Long Fight, City and Developer Reach Deal for Piedmont Wind Farm

A wind farm in western Oklahoma.

After a year of grassroots opposition, tumultuous local politics and lawsuits, the City of Piedmont has reached an agreement with Apex Clean Energy over a proposed 130-turbine wind farm. On Dec. 9, the city council voted to approve an agreement with the Virginia-based company, “with the blessing” of the Central Oklahoma Property Rights Association, an [...]

Why Oklahoma Wind Energy Might Get a Raise When Tennessee Retires Coal

The Tennessee Valley Authority on Thursday announced is would retire six coal-fired power plants in Alabama and replace two in Kentucky with a new natural gas plant. TVA CEO Bill Johnson cited stricter environmental regulations and a “flat demand” for electricity, NPR’s Scott Neuman reports. But the move could be a boon for Oklahoma wind [...]

With Tax Credit Temporarily Secured, List of Planned Oklahoma Wind Projects Grows

calumet-horse-wind

In 2012, the number of new Oklahoma wind farm projects stalled because of uncertainty over a federal tax credit, but the state’s queue is filling back up, The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports. Utilities have signed deals for 1,049 megawatts from wind farm projects planned in Oklahoma, according to the latest market report from the American [...]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education