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Wind farm planned on 11,000 acres in Kiowa, Washita counties

An Oklahoma power cooperative and a Kansas company have agreed to fund construction of 75 wind turbines in southwestern Oklahoma, officials announced Wednesday.

A long-term purchase agreement between Western Farmers Electric Cooperative of Anadarko and TradeWind Energy LLC of Lenexa, Kan., will make the Rocky Ridge Wind Project possible. Construction on the 11,000-acre site in Kiowa and Washita counties is scheduled to begin early next year.

The turbines, which will generate up to 125 megawatts of electricity, should be in operation by January 2012, producing enough power for 40,000 homes and businesses, reports say.

Frank Costanza, the executive vice president of TradeWind, said in a statement: “Rocky Ridge allows TradeWind to meet the growing demand for affordable electricity produced from this inexhaustible Oklahoma resource. Rocky Ridge is one of the most energetic sites in our portfolio, and its location allows us to take advantage of existing transmission lines to deliver power to WFEC’s customers at a reduced cost.”

The construction will employ approximately 150 people, and nine to 10 full-time employees will monitor and maintain the wind farm. Landowners and local governments could receive more than $3 million a year through property taxes and rent payments, the project partners estimated.

The cooperative serves more than 500,000 customers in Oklahoma and New Mexico. It maintains 3,600 miles of transmission lines, and its three existing generation plants can produce more
than 1,700 megawatts at capacity, reports say.

The American Wind Energy Association’s July report says Oklahoma wind farms can now produce 1,130 megawatts, with an additional 380 megawatts under construction this year. The state ranked 12th in deliverable wind energy last year.

Original Print Headline: New wind farm in state planned