OG&E announced today that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has approved a settlement agreement reached by all the parties to the company's application to build and operate a new wind farm in northwestern Oklahoma. Known as "Crossroads," the wind farm is expected to come online in the second half of 2011.
"This is a good outcome resulting from collaboration of the various parties interested in the expansion of renewable energy in Oklahoma," said Jesse Langston, vice president of Utility Commercial Operations for OG&E. "We reached unanimous agreement with customer and shareholder groups, state agencies and regulatory officials which culminated in today's 3-0 Commission vote to approve the Crossroads project."
Crossroads, to be built in Dewey County near Canton, will add at least 198 megawatts of renewable generation. Pending the results of a Southwest Power Pool regional transmission study, today's Commission order allows for Crossroads to be constructed with up to 227 megawatts of generating capacity.
The new wind farm, to be constructed by Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES Americas), will have at least 86 Siemens turbines rated at 2.3 megawatts each and will connect with OG&E's new Windspeed transmission line to Oklahoma City, which was energized earlier this year.
Electric grid coordinator Southwest Power Pool moved to expand the region’s electric transmission grid on Tuesday, approving six projects worth $1.14 billion... Four of the six projects are in Oklahoma and one, an $840,000 line reactor, will be in Tulsa.
Recently Woodward has been recognized by major media and Capitol Hill as an example of a community that is making bold steps toward economic and environmental innovation.
On National Public Radio's daily Morning Addition program, Judy Woodruff traveled to Woodward to report on one young man who chose a future in wind energy over his previous trade - oil and gas. The report's subject, Quentin Johnson, is studying wind training at the High Plains Technology Center.
Johnson was one of the first students to enroll in the new training program in Woodward, Okla.
But when most people think about energy in Oklahoma, they think of the fuel that comes from the ground. Oil and natural gas helped build this state, and there are oil derricks all around Woodward. There's even one at Johnson's school; in fact, he uses it to practice climbing, because you need to climb 300 feet high to fix a wind turbine.
On May 21st, Woodward Industrial Foundation President Lavern Phillips testified in Washington D.C. in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. The topic hearing titled “Oversight of the Economic Development Administration" was led by Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and James Inhofe (R-OK).
From a recent Woodward News report "Terra breaks ground on expansion":
City, county and Terra Industries officials broke ground during a ceremony Tuesday, marking the start of a $180 million expansion project to Terra’s facilities west of Woodward.
Before the groundbreaking, Hugh Jones, chairman of the Woodward Industrial Foundation spoke, providing figures that demonstrated the value of the company to Woodward.
“Terra is the fourth largest taxpayer in the county,” Jones said. “As a result of this expansion project, their ad valorem tax will increase by approximately $1.8 million. As you are aware, these taxes go to support county government, EMS, the county health department, High Plains Technology Center and the Woodward public schools.
Local community leaders continue to receive rave reviews on the completion of the Woodward Campus of Northwestern Oklahoma State University. The Woodward Industrial Foundation takes pride in the fantastic effort by all parties to make the dream of higher education a reality in Northwestern Oklahoma.
“The 12-year effort to build the campus has truly been a community and state partnership,”
- NWOSU President Dr. Janet Cunningham
Recently, the city received a $1 million grant for a conference center planned as part of a Community Campus Project in conjunction with the Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Woodward campus along 34th Street in Woodward.
“These are the things we have to do to become a community that will attract young people and professional people. To have people move into our community for growth and development we’ve got to continue to build facilities like this.”