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Transmission line key to wind farms

A proposed project to build a high-voltage transmission line between Woodward and the Panhandle is expected to help Oklahoma harness one of its most recognizable assets: the wind that comes sweeping down the plain. Jaime McAlpine, president of Chermac Energy Corp. in Edmond, said the project is a necessary one if developers are going to build more wind farms in the state.

With it, Oklahoma could be leader in renewable energy.

A proposed project to build a high-voltage transmission line between Woodward and the Panhandle is expected to help Oklahoma harness one of its most recognizable assets: the wind that comes sweeping down the plain.

Jaime McAlpine, president of Chermac Energy Corp. in Edmond, said the project is a necessary one if developers are going to build more wind farms in the state.

"This should allow for an additional 3,000 to 4,000 megawatts of Oklahoma wind capacity to be developed in the next five to eight years," he said. "It also puts the initial pieces in place for the long-term export of up to an additional 10,000 megawatts of Oklahoma wind to other areas of the country by 2030.

"Needless to say, there are numerous parties in Oklahoma that are working to see this happen."

The project is one of six on the list being considered by the Southwest Power Pool, the regional transmission entity tasked with ensuring reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive prices of electricity.

Members will vote on the $1.3 billion project list in January. Three... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

With it, Oklahoma could be leader in renewable energy.

A proposed project to build a high-voltage transmission line between Woodward and the Panhandle is expected to help Oklahoma harness one of its most recognizable assets: the wind that comes sweeping down the plain.

Jaime McAlpine, president of Chermac Energy Corp. in Edmond, said the project is a necessary one if developers are going to build more wind farms in the state.

"This should allow for an additional 3,000 to 4,000 megawatts of Oklahoma wind capacity to be developed in the next five to eight years," he said. "It also puts the initial pieces in place for the long-term export of up to an additional 10,000 megawatts of Oklahoma wind to other areas of the country by 2030.

"Needless to say, there are numerous parties in Oklahoma that are working to see this happen."

The project is one of six on the list being considered by the Southwest Power Pool, the regional transmission entity tasked with ensuring reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive prices of electricity.

Members will vote on the $1.3 billion project list in January. Three other items are on the list, including a project in Tulsa and a transmission line running from Woodward to southern Kansas.

Oklahoma Energy Secretary Bobby Wegener is among those hoping the Woodward-to-Hitchland project gets a green light because he said wind power is a vast untapped resource for Oklahoma.

"Everybody's projections are different, but the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
in the past has suggested that Oklahoma could be as high as second in terms of the amount of generation that comes from wind, as compared to other states in the nation," he said.

Wegener said Oklahoma has about 900 megawatts of wind generation, which ranks 11th in the country.

Increasing that figure will be an economic boon to Oklahoma, he said, citing estimates from an expert at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Those estimates indicate an additional 1,000 megawatts of wind power would create almost $1.2 billion in economic impact over the 20-year life of the facilities.

"This transmission line essentially unlocks that potential," Wegener said.

Wegener said it makes sense to upgrade the nation's transmission infrastructure to capture that potential.

The upgrades also would make the electrical system more reliable and eliminate congestion, he said. Investing in the transmission system also allows customers to have access to cheaper electricity.

"They're going to be able to have access to more power sources," Wegener said. "If you have access to a broader portfolio of options, you can find one that's the best cost scenario."


Source: http://www.tulsaworld.com/b...

DEC 1 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/23393-transmission-line-key-to-wind-farms
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