TradeWind Energy will build a new wind farm in Oklahoma’s Garfield and Grant counties to provide electricity to an Alabama utility company.
A Kansas company is planning to build what could be the state’s largest wind farm to provide power to a utility that serves 1.4 million customers in Alabama.
TradeWind Energy’s Chisholm View Wind Project will be capable of producing as much as 300 megawatts of electricity, the company announced this week.
The development is a milestone for Oklahoma because it showed there is a commercial market for the state’s wind energy, said Kylah McNabb, wind development specialist for the state Commerce Department.
McNabb said wind development in Oklahoma will get a boost from TradeWind’s power purchase contract with Alabama Power.
The deal proves wind is an Oklahoma energy commodity like oil and natural gas, she said.
“This is truly an example of how Oklahoma wind can serve customers outside our state, providing them with cost-effective green power,” McNabb said.
The wind farm will be built across about 20,000 acres in northern Garfield and southern Grant counties, contributing as much as $5 million a year in property tax and rent payments to landowners. It is expected to begin operating in December.
The project will employ about 150 people during construction, while 12 to 15 workers will be required to keep the wind farm running once it is complete.
TradeWind has secured a 20-year power purchase agreement with Alabama Power, and it will use 202 megawatts of wind energy to provide electricity to its customers in the southern two-thirds of the state. The deal was approved earlier this month by the Alabama Public Service Commission.
“This agreement not only boosts our use of renewable energy, it also provides real savings for our customers,” said Matt Bowden, Alabama Power’s vice president for environmental affairs. “It benefits both the environment and the people we serve.”
TradeWind officials said the deal is the largest power purchase agreement signed by a Southeastern utility company.
Over the past year, TradeWind has entered into long-term agreements that will deliver more than 600 megawatts of electricity to utility customers in 10 states.
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