Articles from Oklahoma
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.
In a unanimous decision issued in mid-September, a three-judge panel reversed and remanded a September 2015 summary judgment from the Northern District Court of Oklahoma that allowed Osage Wind to conduct excavation work in order to set up 84 wind turbines across 8,400 acres without a mining permit from the Bureau of Indian Affairs or approval from the Osage Minerals Council.
Speaking Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Lee Levy, commander of Air Force Sustainment Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Tinker, said wind turbines that rise hundreds of feet into the sky are encroaching on the flight corridors. Some of those turbines now are in the paths of low-flying planes, requiring the Air Force to abandon routes or take other evasive action.
The Denver Federal Appeals court, in a unanimous decision overturned a lower court ruling and said Enel Green, the owner of Osage Wind, had to obtain a mining permit in the construction of its wind farm in western Osage County, land controlled by the Osage Nation.
Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a bill that would require new wind farms to get approval from the aeronautics commission, which is pushing for more oversight. Another proposal would require the state's military commission to sign off before new wind farms break ground.
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.
A $4.5 billion wind farm and transmission line announced last week by Public Service Co. of Oklahoma and a sister utility needs a quick answer from Oklahoma regulators so the project can fully qualify for federal tax credits for renewable energy.
The turbine appears to be part of EDP Renewables' Blue Canyon Wind facility. There were four phases to the project totalling 424 megawatts and located in Caddo, Comanche, and Kiowa Counties. The project uses a combination of Vestas and GE model wind turbines. The news report did not cite the make or model of the burned turbine. The initial turbines (phase 1) were placed in service in 2003.
[T]he initial assessment for their property was valued at around $187 million which the company is required to pay taxes on to the county. Following an informal protest a second assessment to about $177 million. Now the company is asking for the value to be lowered to around $60 million. ...The Excise Board ruled against Taloga Wind and upheld the second assessment.
The problem, Cooper said, is the DoD’s Siting Clearinghouse is largely ineffective. “The clearing house has only stopped one development,” he said. The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission agrees ...“Unfortunately the way ahead with respect to protecting Oklahoma’s military training airspace has been temporarily put on hold,” said Victor Bird, OAC director. “The wind energy industry rallied and, frankly, was just simply able to outman us at the Capitol.”
We would encourage NextEra to release its finding when they determine what happened that caused the turbine blade to break. We realize they are a private company, but this is a big project that people see every day. We think the public deserves to know what the problems are.
Here’s another problem with wind farms. They are too tall. They are so tall, in fact, that they interfere with military aviation training with bases in Oklahoma.
"The turbine sits in the cornfield, but the blade broke off and flew about 100 yards north of the turbine ," recalls Carpenter. "It flattened the corn, destroyed it." Since the May 31 incident, the turbine's blade has been replaced by General Electric and it has resumed to normal operations.
The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission head says wind farms in western Oklahoma are having a negative impact on military flight training.
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.
No details have been released yet as to what caused a wind turbine to collapse Monday afternoon east of Hooker, Okla.
The broken blade sits about 100 yards behind the wind turbine, crushing all of the corn that surrounds it. The cornfield belongs to Ken Carpenter, who declined to comment. Cleaning up the blade and wind turbine could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to two months, and will involve bringing a large crane near the field to take the blade off, McIntyre said.