General and Oklahoma
If a proposed transition line from Woodward to Guymon runs through Mead Ferguson's north Woodward County land, he thinks that is just fine. ...Mead was among 60 to 70 people who attended the first of four open houses offered by Oklahoma Gas and Electric. The meeting was held at the Josie Adams Cultural Center and was intended to act as an open exchange between the public and company executive with regard to a planned transmission line construction project that could impact land owners here. ...The transmission lines have been planned by the company to address an historic lack of transmission needed to carry the additional electricity that is produced by wind turbines here.
Stocking is one of about 200 people on the e-mail list for the newly formed Southern Great Plains Property Rights Coalition, a group of landowners fighting for fair compensation as wind development changes the landscape.
Landowners along a proposed 120-mile Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. power line should join together to oppose the line, a Woodward landowner said at a meeting Tuesday.
Candyce Kline of Woodward was one of about 60 people concerned with the route of the proposed power line from Woodward to northwest Oklahoma City to be built by 2010 by OG&E. Rate payers would see an increase of about $1.50 on electric bills to pay for the line, which will deliver power from wind turbines.
Two audience members brought up concerns involving Altus Air Force Base. Eyerly freely admitted that AAFB would prefer that Wind Works "relocate the project 30 miles away." ...The easiest way to do so, he thought, would be to build another radar tower on the other side of the base at the wind company's expense.
Oklahoma has long been known for its abundant reserves of oil and gas, but Norman-area lawmakers want to add wind power to the list of leading energy sources.
Already, 420 towering wind turbines in western Oklahoma provide about 3 percent of the state's electricity, according to the Oklahoma Wind Power Initiative, a joint project of the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.
Wind farm leasing in Oklahoma is a little like the Wild West. Experts say there's virtually no regulation and lots of opportunity for landowners to either profit or make deals they'll later regret.
"It's very much a wildcatter's environment with a lot of speculation going on," said former Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth, who now handles alternative energy legal issues in his job as an attorney with the Phillips Murrah law firm.
He currently is involved in a lawsuit with OG&E, after a court-appointed land appraiser said Stocking should be paid $10,000 an acre for the strip of land the utility company took.
According to Stocking, OG&E wants to pay him $2,000 an acre for the strip of land, and the case is apparently going to a jury trial because OG&E is contesting the appraiser's figure. No date has been set for the trial.