Articles from Oklahoma
“I am all for adding clean, renewable power generation to our power grid, but the project has to serve a need, and it has to make sense financially,” Greene said. “I could not vote to have SWEPCO customers finance an unneeded generation project that might only save them money if the price of natural gas increases significantly."
I’m not opposed to wind energy, but I can tell you I am opposed to this line,” said Bixby Mayor John Easton. “I really am opposed to how PSO has represented itself to the city of Bixby. “No one on this council had any idea about this line, at all, until the meeting in May in Glenpool, on the night of a City Council meeting when none of us could attend. This is why we are going to the Corporation Commission to ask them to, please, represent us.”
Hinton Mayor Shelly Newton is still upset about the planned wind farm construction near her town.
A decision on the project’s cost-recovery plan is pending before the Corporation Commission, which last held a hearing on the subject March 14. ...Bixby Mayor John Easton told the PSO representatives that the southern route plan would cripple city expansion to the south. “You’re pulling the rug out from underneath the future of this city,” he said.
“The Military Aviation and Installation Assurance Siting Clearinghouse established a mitigation response team in April to assess the impacts and any reasonable and affordable mitigation strategies,” Sample stated in an email. "NextEra is a partner in this effort and is working with the Air Force to identify solutions. The Clearinghouse and the Air Force will coordinate the progress with both Federal and State authorities, although any prediction of the outcome is premature.”
WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Hinton, Oklahoma, just west of Oklahoma City, has been sued by a wind energy group to build wind turbines in their town because of an ordinance they passed that they thought was unconstitutional.
The Oklahoma Attorney General and the director of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission's Public Utility Division stated in a regulatory filing late Monday they remain opposed to Public Service Co. of Oklahoma's request to obtain preapproval to recover costs to build the Wind Catcher Connection project.
The OSBI has found new evidence linking a wind energy group to the political consultant who had a state legislator tracked, The Oklahoman has learned. ...McBride, R-Moore, has blamed the wind industry ever since finding a GPS tracker on his pickup the evening of Dec. 4. McBride has been an outspoken critic of the wind industry and has called for wind farms in Oklahoma to pay more in taxes.
With SB 888 failing to advance Monday, lawmakers committed to ending the wind tax credit refundability could turn their attention to HB 3716, a bill that surfaced Friday. HB 3716 eliminates the refundability but allows companies to retain the credits for 20 years to decrease their Oklahoma tax liabilities.
Senate Bill 888 would not abolish zero emission tax credits, but would make them no longer refundable. That means wind companies could still use the income tax credits to offset taxes they might owe. However, once that tax liability goes down to zero, they would no longer be able to turn the remaining tax credits back to the Tax Commission and receive 85 cents on the dollar from the state treasury.
SB 888 eliminates the refundability of tax credits for renewable energy generation. The state stopped issuing new credits several years ago, and the state is already scheduled to phase out the program altogether by 2027. Zeroing out the refundability feature could save the state as much as $750 million from 2020, when SB 888 takes effect, until 2027, Coody said.
What is known so far is that the deal would place a $1 per megawatt hour tax on the production of wind energy, but only for new projects. The proposal also will include what's been dubbed "section nine," a guarantee that the gross production tax will expire if a future Legislature tries to eliminate or cap the industry's incentives.
About 100 people heard diverse viewpoints on wind energy at an Osage County Board of Adjustment public hearing Thursday, but the board approved a conditional use permit for the next wind farm to be built in the Tallgrass Prairie region with little fanfare.
"If we don't do something truly meaningful this session, not next session, another $70 million is literally going to be gone with the wind," Brecheen said. The senator said the bill would end corporate welfare payments, not by eliminating the tax credit, but by eliminating the refundability aspect of it.
Giving teachers in Oklahoma a raise is past due. WindWaste was established on the premise that more funding for education was critical, and the industry that has profited most in recent years from Oklahoma subsidies should contribute.
“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.”
Across 300,000 acres (121,206 hectares) utility giant American Electric Power Co. is trying to pull off something no other company has attempted at this scale: It wants to build the nation’s largest wind farm -- and it wants up-front guarantees from regulators that customers will pay the bill.
"This legislation goes a long way toward protecting and enhancing our number one asset, which is our airspace," Cooper said. "It wasn't about having no wind power. It was about protecting our airspace." Cooper said the bill was crafted with close cooperation between the military, wind industry and Legislature.