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Winds of Change; OG&E announces plans to quadruple wind power production

Plans to quadruple OG&E's wind power production and start a trasmission line project to make renewable power available to Oklahoma's population centers were announced Tuesday by OG&E Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Pete Delaney. ...Alford stressed that wind energy cannot replace coal-fire and natural gas power generation. He said that typically wind power was only available 40 percent of the time. Wind also tends to blow less in high temperatures and cannot serve to provide base-load or 24-hour power production. "You have to have traditional fossil fuel generation," Alford said.

OKLAHOMA CITY - Plans to quadruple OG&E's wind power production and start a trasmission line project to make renewable power available to Oklahoma's population centers were announced Tuesday by OG&E Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Pete Delaney.

Delaney spoke before the Downtown Rotary Club and said implementation of the company's plans would give more OG&E customers the choice of being up to 100 percent renewable power users in the next few years.

The company's aim is to building a key stretch of transmission power line from Oklahoma City to Woodward, eventually extending to Guymon, Delaney said. The move would be a step to providing wind power energy to all Oklahoma OG&E customers.

According to OG&E spokesman Brian Alford, OG&E currently has two wind farms - one north of Woodward and one north of Fort Supply. Other wind farms include Public Service Company's Weatherford Wind Energy Center, Zilkha Renewable Energy LLC's Blue Canyon II wind farm and wind farms owned by Oklahoma Electric Cooperatives and Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority.

"Major electricity providers in Oklahoma all have wind resources," Alford said.

Alford said that OG&E began looking into... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

OKLAHOMA CITY - Plans to quadruple OG&E's wind power production and start a trasmission line project to make renewable power available to Oklahoma's population centers were announced Tuesday by OG&E Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Pete Delaney.

Delaney spoke before the Downtown Rotary Club and said implementation of the company's plans would give more OG&E customers the choice of being up to 100 percent renewable power users in the next few years.

The company's aim is to building a key stretch of transmission power line from Oklahoma City to Woodward, eventually extending to Guymon, Delaney said. The move would be a step to providing wind power energy to all Oklahoma OG&E customers.

According to OG&E spokesman Brian Alford, OG&E currently has two wind farms - one north of Woodward and one north of Fort Supply. Other wind farms include Public Service Company's Weatherford Wind Energy Center, Zilkha Renewable Energy LLC's Blue Canyon II wind farm and wind farms owned by Oklahoma Electric Cooperatives and Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority.

"Major electricity providers in Oklahoma all have wind resources," Alford said.

Alford said that OG&E began looking into wind energy because customers were requesting renewable sources of energy be available.

"Unfortunately, the eastern part of the state has few sites that would be condusive for wind generation. In Oklahoma, the primary region for wind is the northwest part of the state," Alford said. "Now, even though those facilities are located in the west part of the state, everyone benefits from wind energy. When we build wind farms, it's just as if we were building a new power plant. That energy serves all Oklahoma or OG&E customers."

According to a press release sent out by OG&E, the investment in wind energy development could move Oklahoma from being sixth in the nation to as high as third in wind power production behind Texas and California.

Alford stressed that wind energy cannot replace coal-fire and natural gas power generation. He said that typically wind power was only available 40 percent of the time. Wind also tends to blow less in high temperatures and cannot serve to provide base-load or 24-hour power production.

"You have to have traditional fossil fuel generation," Alford said.

He also noted that wind power is "slightly more expensive" than coal-fire generation and natural gas.

"There's a misperception that because it's wind, it's free. Unfortunately, it's not. There are costs associated with wind energy which is also supported by federal tax credits. The cost of the turbines is high. The cost of building the transmission necessary to move that power out of the northwest portion of the state is expensive," Alford said.

Alford also said though that wind energy helps to provide "a hedge for flucuating natural gas prices."

Though Alford said there were "no specific sites [for wind farms] at this time," that by the end of the year, the company will be requesting proposals for renewed development.


Source: http://www.mwcsun.com/local...

NOV 5 2007
http://www.windaction.org/posts/11771-winds-of-change-og-e-announces-plans-to-quadruple-wind-power-production
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