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Wind energy benefits schools, counties

“For us, it means significant amounts of ad valorem tax,” said Brent Kisling, Enid Regional Development Alliance executive director. “Normally, with a wind farm, they pay about $10,000 per year, per megawatt installed. If you have one megawatt out there, they’re going to pay $10,000 a year in ad valorem tax. And, in our county, about half of that goes to the school district in which that wind farm is located, and the other half is split between the career tech, the county and the county health department.”

Wind farms that have sprung up across Northwest Oklahoma have ushered in improvements — through increased ad valorem tax revenue — benefiting schools, CareerTech, county entities and health departments.

“For us, it means significant amounts of ad valorem tax,” said Brent Kisling, Enid Regional Development Alliance executive director. “Normally, with a wind farm, they pay about $10,000 per year, per megawatt installed. If you have one megawatt out there, they’re going to pay $10,000 a year in ad valorem tax. And, in our county, about half of that goes to the school district in which that wind farm is located, and the other half is split between the career tech, the county and the county health department.”

The $10,000 a year per megawatt in ad valorem is just one part of the equation, Kisling said.

“The other part is our landowner payments,” said. “The bottom line is we are funding schools in our county through wind energy, and we’re generating wealth through landowner payments.”

Wind power in play

Currently, within Garfield County, there’s the 235-megawatt Chisholm View Wind Farm, 65-megawatt Chisholm View II Wind Farm and the 100-megawatt... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Wind farms that have sprung up across Northwest Oklahoma have ushered in improvements — through increased ad valorem tax revenue — benefiting schools, CareerTech, county entities and health departments.

“For us, it means significant amounts of ad valorem tax,” said Brent Kisling, Enid Regional Development Alliance executive director. “Normally, with a wind farm, they pay about $10,000 per year, per megawatt installed. If you have one megawatt out there, they’re going to pay $10,000 a year in ad valorem tax. And, in our county, about half of that goes to the school district in which that wind farm is located, and the other half is split between the career tech, the county and the county health department.”

The $10,000 a year per megawatt in ad valorem is just one part of the equation, Kisling said.

“The other part is our landowner payments,” said. “The bottom line is we are funding schools in our county through wind energy, and we’re generating wealth through landowner payments.”

Wind power in play

Currently, within Garfield County, there’s the 235-megawatt Chisholm View Wind Farm, 65-megawatt Chisholm View II Wind Farm and the 100-megawatt Breckinridge Wind Farm. 

Just last month, Thunder Ranch started spinning in the far northeast corner of Garfield County, and that’s a 300-megawatt farm, he said.

“We’re right at close to 700 megawatts in Garfield County, to date,” he said.

While not located in Garfield County, there’s also the nearby Red Dirt Wind Farm on the other side of Hennessey, Kisling said.

There are other proposed wind farms for the area, he said.

“I’m not sure how many of those will end up occurring,” Kisling said. “As you go through the development process, a wind farm developer begins leasing up land, and once they have enough land put together they try to acquire a power purchase agreement, which means they’re finding somebody like OG&E, PSO, Grand River Dam Authority or, in the case of Chisholm View Wind Farm, that’s actually being purchased by the state of Alabama, by Alabama Power. You find somebody who’s willing to purchase the power for 20 years, and then you go in and you build the farm.

“Right now, because there’s been so much development the last several years, there’s not a lot of RFPs out there for new electric generation in our part of the country. That would be the limiting factor on more wind farms being developed right now.”

Wind Catcher impact

The “big question” right now is the Wind Catcher Energy Connection project, Kisling said. It’s a $4.5 billion investment that would have benefits for Garfield County.

The Wind Catcher Energy Connection project involves the construction of a wind farm — in Cimarron and Texas counties — with 800 wind turbines, a 350-mile power line across Oklahoma and two substations. The project is facing some funding concerns as well as some pushback from landowners concerned about the transmission lines crossing the area. 

“The wind farm would actually be in the panhandle, but the transmission line would come through Garfield County and would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in ad valorem tax just in Garfield County,” Kisling said. “The big impact for us is the employment side of it, with the supply chain, because if you’ve got a 2,000-megawatt farm — the largest in the United States, second largest in the world — being built out in the panhandle, a lot of the product is going to come through Enid, through the transload facility that’s on the east side of town owned by Transportation Partners and Logistics. That’s really where the long-term impact comes for us.”


Source: https://www.enidnews.com/ne...

MAR 31 2018
http://www.windaction.org/posts/50045-wind-energy-benefits-schools-counties
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