Article

Okla. utility proposes power line to unlock wind

OGE Energy Corp is prepared to build a new high-voltage transmission line to accelerate development of wind generation in Oklahoma, the utility company chief executive said on Tuesday. Oklahoma City-based OG&E Electric Services said new transmission is needed to unlock the potential for power to flow from future wind farms in the western part of the state to populated cities in the east. Chief Executive Officer Pete Delaney said OG&E, Oklahoma's largest electric utility, plans to significantly increase its wind production from 170 megawatts to 770 MW over the next five years to meet increased customer demand for renewable power.

HOUSTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - OGE Energy Corp (OGE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is prepared to build a new high-voltage transmission line to accelerate development of wind generation in Oklahoma, the utility company chief executive said on Tuesday.

Oklahoma City-based OG&E Electric Services said new transmission is needed to unlock the potential for power to flow from future wind farms in the western part of the state to populated cities in the east.

Chief Executive Officer Pete Delaney said OG&E, Oklahoma's largest electric utility, plans to significantly increase its wind production from 170 megawatts to 770 MW over the next five years to meet increased customer demand for renewable power.

"The significant amount of wind in western Oklahoma is a largely untapped resource that is in increasing demand in Oklahoma and across the nation," Delaney said in a statement.

OG&E would like to see Oklahoma climb from the sixth-largest wind-power production state to the third largest, behind Texas and California, said spokesman Brian Alford.

Developers are talking to OG&E about building wind turbines in west and northwest Oklahoma, Alford said. "They realize it will take... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

HOUSTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - OGE Energy Corp (OGE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is prepared to build a new high-voltage transmission line to accelerate development of wind generation in Oklahoma, the utility company chief executive said on Tuesday.

Oklahoma City-based OG&E Electric Services said new transmission is needed to unlock the potential for power to flow from future wind farms in the western part of the state to populated cities in the east.

Chief Executive Officer Pete Delaney said OG&E, Oklahoma's largest electric utility, plans to significantly increase its wind production from 170 megawatts to 770 MW over the next five years to meet increased customer demand for renewable power.

"The significant amount of wind in western Oklahoma is a largely untapped resource that is in increasing demand in Oklahoma and across the nation," Delaney said in a statement.

OG&E would like to see Oklahoma climb from the sixth-largest wind-power production state to the third largest, behind Texas and California, said spokesman Brian Alford.

Developers are talking to OG&E about building wind turbines in west and northwest Oklahoma, Alford said. "They realize it will take transmission infrastructure to bring this to fruition," Alford said.

OG&E wants to build a key stretch of a new transmission line from Oklahoma City to Woodward, eventually extending the line to Guymon, Delaney said. Wind farms can generally be built faster than transmission line projects.

The proposed transmission path will need approval from the Southwest Power Pool, a seven-state grid operator, and other elected officials, OG&E said.

SPP is developing a separate plan to build a high-voltage system to export power to other parts of the country since the region's potential to produce wind power exceeds current power needs, officials have said.

Last month, OG&E and American Electric Power Co's (AEP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Public Service Co of Oklahoma pulled the plug on plans to build a 900-MW coal-fired plant in Oklahoma after regulators refused to guarantee cost-recovery for the plant ahead of its construction.

Alford said the need for wind power is different from the utility's need for baseload power. "With wind, we may gain some flexibility, but with the demand growth we are seeing, we will need baseload generation in the future," Alford said.

Last month, OG&E said it plans to construct about 40 miles of a new transmission line from north-central Oklahoma to Wichita, Kansas, as part of the SPP's expanded regional planning process. The $40 million project is expected to be completed by late 2010, the company said.

OG&E has more than 760,000 customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas.



Source: http://www.reuters.com/arti...

OCT 30 2007
http://www.windaction.org/posts/11692-okla-utility-proposes-power-line-to-unlock-wind
back to top