Library filed under General from Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY - A $581 million tax bill has failed after voting remained open late into Monday evening after lawmakers spent the afternoon debating.
An Oklahoma Corporation Commission administrative law judge is recommending against preapproval of Public Service Co. of Oklahoma's request to allow it to charge its ratepayers to help it own part of a wind farm and to use some of that power.
The Oklahoma Tax Commission has refuted claims by wind industry representatives that state incentives have expired for the renewable energy source. The state has already paid out more than $63 million in tax credits connected to wind power in the current fiscal year; The state will be refunding credits for at least the next 10 years, Mastin said
First the wind came sweeping down the plain, then the dollars, and now the controversy.
Public Service Co. of Oklahoma will hold a series of community meetings later this month and in early February as it continues to develop a power line route it needs to get renewable energy to its grid.
An Oklahoma lawmaker who found a tracking device attached to his pickup truck last month is suing a private investigation company and an investigator who works for the company over the device.
The head of an Oklahoma wind power trade group flatly denied a state lawmaker's suggestion to police that someone connected to the industry put a tracking device on his truck to spy on him.
Military leaders will now have more say where wind producers can build turbines under federal legislation designed to protect the air space where pilots conduct training exercises.
Nearly every seat was filled Thursday at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission's main courtroom as the agency took public comment on a cause filed by Public Service Co. of Oklahoma. The utility seeks preapproval to recover its costs associated to a large wind power and transmission project that will provide renewable energy to both its customers and those of a sister utility.
Transmission wires could end at substation in north Tulsa County
PSO is asking the commission to grant it preapproval to recover its share of the project costs from customers when Wind Catcher becomes operational in late 2020. Its share of the project is estimated at $1.36 billion, and in testimony filed in the case, PSO estimates the Wind Catcher project would add another $78 million to customer rates in 2021.
“We just hate the position that we are in. We hate that this project was commenced. We hate that there wasn’t competitive bidding, which is required by the rule, one or the other,” Hunter said near the end of his argument. “We hate that eight months elapsed from the [inception] of the project until the application was filed, so we’re all being put in a position of being leveraged. If these things aren’t approved in multiple states, this project isn’t going to go forward.”
Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) hosted 11 community open houses across northern and central Oklahoma to collect valuable landowner and community input on preliminary study segments to help determine a power line route for the Wind Catcher Energy Connection.
Without comment, Corporation Commission Administrative Law Judge Mary Candler denied the attorney general's motion in a hearing Thursday morning. However, Candler approved another motion to have PSO pay for witness fees and other case costs for the attorney general's office, which represents consumers in utility cases.
In Friday's hearing, Assistant Attorney General Dara Derryberry said commission rules only allow preapproval for generation capacity. ...PSO couldn't ask for a waiver of competitive bidding rules because construction has already started on the wind farm. Commission rules allow a pre-construction review as an alternative to competitive bidding, but PSO didn't ask for that either, she said.
The motion, filed late Friday by Attorney General Mike Hunter's public utility division, said if the commission doesn't dismiss the case, it should make PSO pay for the attorney general's costs to represent Oklahoma consumers in the case. "...PSO's customers are at risk to bear the $1.36 billion cost of the Wind Catcher project if the commission grants PSO's requested relief."
To take maximum advantage of the federal production tax credit before it declined in 2017, project construction began last December.
On a sunny day last summer, in the middle of a vast cornfield somewhere in the large, windy middle of America, two researchers from the University of Tulsa stepped into an oven-hot, elevator-sized chamber within the base of a 300-foot-tall wind turbine. They’d picked the simple pin-and-tumbler lock on the turbine’s metal door in less than a minute and opened the unsecured server closet inside.
Construction is moving forward on a more-than $400 million wind farm project, despite the scheduled sunset of state wind tax credits.
The world’s biggest wind-turbine company has filed lawsuits against five rural governments because they stand between it and millions in tax subsidies.