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11:11 am
Fri November 1, 2013

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

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Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

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 Wind Energy Association, the paper reports — roughly “14 percent of the 7,500 megawatts in wind power purchase agreements signed nationally so far this year.”

“Oklahoma is really leading the country for new wind builds over the next few years,” said Emily Williams, senior policy analyst with the association. “Oklahoma and Texas are really going to be the heartland of a lot of wind activity.”

New wind-energy projects across the country had stalled as Congress delayed extending the credit, which it ultimately renewed for one year. The current tax credit expires Dec. 31, and the industry is lobbying hard for another renewal, Monies reports.

Most of the planned wind capacity for Oklahoma comes from Tulsa-based utility Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, which last month announced agreements for 600 megawatts from three wind farms to be built in the state. One megawatt can power about 200 homes during peak demand times.

Among other Oklahoma wind purchase agreements are a 100-megawatt contract at EDP Renewables’ Arbuckle Mountain project and 200 megawatts from NextEra Energy Resources at Mammoth Plains in Dewey and Blaine counties.

Copyright 2013 StateImpact Oklahoma. To see more, visit http://stateimpact.npr.org/oklahoma/.