NPR Story
11:57 am
Thu March 6, 2014

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

The 147-megawatt Weatherford Wind Energy Center.

Travel Aficionado / Flickr

The 147-megawatt Weatherford Wind Energy Center.

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 state’s energy mix, according to the wind industry trade group.

Total wind-generated electricity grew from 2012 to 2013, but it’s national ranking stayed the same, The Oklahoaman‘s Paul Monies reports:

Oklahoma remained in fourth place for the total amount of electricity generated from wind last year, although the total generated grew to 10.88 million megawatt hours from 8.23 million megawatt hours. Texas, Iowa, California and Oklahoma each generated enough electricity from wind to power more than 1 million homes.

Local governments and municipal policy-makers have been strained by the growth of wind energy, which is almost entirely unregulated by the state. Landowners and property developers have squared off over wind farm projects, which can bring big checks to some landowners and nuisances to others.

The Oklahoma Legislature is considering two bills — Senate Bills 1440 and 1559 — which could impact wind development. SB 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.

Copyright 2014 StateImpact Oklahoma. To see more, visit http://stateimpact.npr.org/oklahoma/.