Library from Oklahoma
Oklahoma Tax Commission paid wind companies $27.3 million in cash incentives for 2013, the most recent tax year for which data are available. That was up nearly 50 percent from the $18.2 million claimed the year before. ...Those claims far overshot the commission's own predictions two years ago that payments would swell to $19.1 million a year by 2018.
An Oklahoma wind project in Canadian and Kingfisher County will not be completed by its deadline, according to an Apex Clean Line Energy official. Apex spokeswoman Davhi Wilson said construction with the Kingfisher Wind facility is ongoing, even though it was scheduled to be completed before the end of 2015.
The tribe’s Minerals Council has argued that the pits, measuring as much as 60 feet wide and 30 feet deep, amount to “mining” and violate the tribe’s mineral rights, which includes ownership of rocks and minerals below the surface. The Osage Wind development west of Pawhuska has destroyed more than 60,000 cubic yards of minerals, according to the lawsuit.
Warning from the Cogar Volunteer Fire Department: Please beware of large chunks of ice being launched great distance by the wind turbines in our area! Please use extreme caution and stay a safe distance away from them. We have seen 3 wires of new barbed wire fences broken by ice chunks from the blades of these massive machines. The pictures of the ice chunks below were recovered about 125 yds from the base of a turbine about 4:30 pm this afternoon. Much larger and thicker pieces had impacted closer to the base.
A State Appeals court recently upheld a lower court ruling that the telecommunications tower built on property near Ken Laubenstein’s home was a nuisance. ...But now some are wondering how the ruling might impact the state’s growing wind farms and possibly a lawsuit filed by landowners in Canadian and Kingfisher Counties against Apex Clean Energy Inc.
A senator from the windswept state of Oklahoma wants to remove a tax credit for wind energy from the tax code. ...Lankford contends the tax credit has outlived its usefulness and is a redundancy since 37 states already provide incentives for wind energy production. He said wind generation has grown 5,000 percent since the tax credit was instituted in 1992.
Wind developments in Osage County do not violate tribal mineral rights, according to a federal court ruling Wednesday, rejecting arguments from both the Osage Nation and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The landowners filed the lawsuit a year ago, listing concerns about noise, ice shearing off turbine blades, shadow flicker and other complaints. DeGiusti allowed a claim of anticipatory nuisance to progress but dismissed a claim of anticipatory trespass earlier this summer.
The suit refers to the irreparable harm caused by nuisance and unavoidable negative health impacts caused to people by the noise, infrasound and shadow flicker generated by turbines. Research shows a negative impact to health for people within close proximity of a turbine.
The battle continues in Canadian and Kingfisher counties over the Kingfisher Wind Project. The project's construction, by APEX Clean Energy, was halted earlier this month because of a temporary restraining order filed by Merit Energy.
It comes down to whether TVA decides to step up its purchase of wind energy. Fracking has made natural gas abundant and cheap to burn in electric plants. Wind appears costly without tax breaks. But energy analysts figure gas prices eventually will rise. And long-term wind power contracts could lock in prices below the ultimate level gas reaches in a decade or more.
Tradewind is prepared to proceed with construction of Mustang Run even though an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling is still pending. Completion of the project in 2016 would allow it to receive some significant state tax credits that are scheduled to expire at the end of next year.
“They’re eating up the landscape,” he said. “They’re devouring our history and culture.” ...“We are pitiful and humble people, asking for your help,” Cameron Pratt prayed out loud, first in the Osage language and then in English, his voice nearly drowned out by the constant drone of the whirling blades. They sound like an aircraft passing high overhead, except the aircraft never flies away.
A U.S. district judge in Oklahoma, dismissed a claim of anticipatory trespass, but allowed a claim of anticipatory nuisance to progress against Kingfisher Wind LLC. ..."We're simply asking the court to hear the case soon before we lose the opportunity to protect our properties and families from being damaged by turbines that are planned too close to our homes."
Tax exemptions and tax credits for wind energy cost the state nearly $49 million last year. Left unchanged, the price tag would have reached $77 million by 2018, according to estimates from the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Wind developments, however, still qualify for Zero Emission Tax Credits, which drew some of the heaviest criticism from Mosier and other opponents of wind subsidies because they are “open-ended.”
Saying they had exhausted all attempts to work with Apex, members of the lawsuit are, in the words of a press relase, “seeking protection from adverse health effects, and loss of use and value of their property, by requiring wind turbines be placed two miles from their properties.” The press release issued by the Oklahoma Wind Action Association can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
Senate Bill 498 by state Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, and Sears, signed May 20, repeals the ability of the wind industry to qualify for a five-year property tax exemption. This provides a good start in addressing the magnitude of industrial wind’s subsidies and negative impact on Oklahoma’s budget.
Under the deal, a five-year property tax exemption offered to wind farms would expire on Jan. 1, 2017, allowing time for several wind projects currently under construction to qualify for the credit. ...Because wind companies can qualify for the five-year exemption until 2017, the state won't realize a cost savings until after 2021.
Oklahoma may be the next state to remove incentives for renewable energy within the state. Senate Bill (SB) 498 would eliminate the state tax exemption for wind electricity manufacturers after 2016.
Rep. Earl Sears, a Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee, thinks industry reform is needed. “We have to take a look at all of these credits we are handing out,” he recently said. “They’re costing the state $36 million to $40 million per year. And we’re glad that most think that reform in the industry is necessary.”