Wind Power News: Oklahoma
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
Oklahoma’s burgeoning wind energy capacity was accompanied by the swelling cost of the state subsidies that encouraged the industry’s growth. That accommodating competitive environment seems to be changing rapidly. For turbines that come on line after July 1, a key subsidy – the zero-emissions facilities tax credit – won’t be available. Its disappearance has caused some in the wind industry to tell the World that Oklahoma is creating an “uncertain” competitive and regulatory climate. Yet, the industry itself agreed that the zero . . .
Ads of all kinds, like a few newspaper and TV spots, and now it’s a visit to Pauls Valley by a push to end tax exemptions for the wind industry in Oklahoma. Former state legislator Cliff Branan is now executive director of a group called the Windfall Coalition. Branan tells the PV Democrat it’s a diverse group of 15 to 20 organizations, such as tribes, oil and gas companies and banks, that make up the coalition. Their single goal – get . . .
Oklahoma budget writers are targeting another wind incentive as part of their solution to close an almost $900 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year. A Senate proposal earlier this week included elimination of the manufacturer’s sales tax exemption for wind equipment. Ending the exemption could bring in an extra $16 million in revenue for fiscal year 2018. The manufacturer’s sales tax exemption covers a broad range of industries and amounted to more than $2 billion from 2015 to . . .
Oklahoma lawmakers are not alone in their ongoing budget struggles. Similar battles are being waged by county officials across the state. There is an easy solution that could help on both fronts: Charge sales tax on wind turbines Wind companies currently benefit from a sales tax exemption that keeps much-needed revenue away from Oklahoma and counties where wind farms are built. The average turbine costs about $2 million. One turbine would generate about $90,000 in sales tax revenue for the . . .
Construction is moving forward on a more-than $400 million wind farm project, despite the scheduled sunset of state wind tax credits. Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA) announced this week it had started construction of the Thunder Ranch wind farm. The 298 megawatt facility is scheduled to be built on 60,000 acres near Billings that covers portions of Garfield, Kay and Noble counties, according to EGPNA. Work is moving ahead on the project even though it won’t benefit from tax . . .
A federal judge in Oklahoma City on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed against the town of Hinton by two wind farm companies affiliated with NextEra Energy Resources LLC. U.S. District Judge Stephen P. Friot ruled on a narrow jurisdictional issue on whether Minco Wind IV LLC and Minco V LLC had the standing to challenge a town ordinance. Hinton’s Board of Trustees adopted an ordinance in January declaring wind project equipment within two miles of the town to be a . . .
Back in November, the US wind sector could never have imagined that four of its leading wind states would be a greater source of industry uncertainty than President Donald Trump. Events in Oklahoma have raised concerns over states’ readiness to continue subsidy support in an era of budget cutbacks and fiscal constraints, while potential trouble is also brewing in California, Iowa and Texas, suggesting that the industry’s ability to lobby effectively on crucial issues will soon be put to the . . .
Oklahoma lawmakers once again are scrambling to deal with another massive budget shortfall. They’re trying to find enough revenue to plug the nearly $900 million budget gap without drastically slashing funding for core services like education, mental health and public safety. A simple way to make up some of that shortfall is for wind developers to pay sales tax on their purchases, just like nearly everyone else in Oklahoma. Each new wind turbine, which is manufactured somewhere else and shipped . . .
While ruling against the tribe on several other issues Tuesday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court will let the Osage Nation challenge the validity of a 2011 county ordinance that allowed wind developments to be built in Osage County. In a 5-1 decision, the justices overturned a lower court’s dismissal of the case, which argues that the Osage County Wind Energy Ordinance should be thrown out because county commissioners allegedly failed to give proper public notice before approving it. Justice Noma Gurich, . . .
Part of a long-running court case involving permits for wind farms in Osage County will head back to district court, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The Osage Nation and the Osage Minerals Council have been fighting the wind farms in district court since 2011, when Osage County commissioners adopted an ordinance on wind developments. Separate appeals over the process used to issue permits to the Osage Wind LLC project were consolidated by the Supreme Court. In Tuesday’s ruling, the . . .