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.
Two wind farm companies have sued the town of Hinton, claiming a recently passed ordinance targeting wind turbines outside the town limits was illegally enacted. Minco Wind IV LLC and Minco Wind V LLC, affiliates of NextEra Energy Resources LLC, said the town’s Jan. 17 ordinance calling their equipment a public nuisance was “intended to restrict and curtail the Minco projects.” The wind farm companies filed lawsuits this week in both Caddo County district court and federal court in Oklahoma . . .
A group in Caddo County has filed a lawsuit against two wind farms, claiming the developer didn’t adequately notify state and local officials and nearby residents of turbine locations. The Scenic Prairie Preservation Association originally filed the lawsuit against NextEra Energy Resources LLC earlier this month in Caddo County district court. The case was moved to federal court in Oklahoma City this week. The association, which was formed three weeks ago, said NextEra didn’t properly notify the Oklahoma Corporation Commission . . .
OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation targeting a state tax credit used almost exclusively by Oklahoma’s burgeoning wind industry advanced from a House subcommittee on Wednesday despite concerns about its impact. House Bill 1300, by Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, ends accumulation of new credits for zero-emission electric generation July 1 and caps annual payments for existing credits at $15 million a year. New credits are already scheduled to end in 2021, but that’s not fast enough for lawmakers looking for a third year . . .
Oklahoma would become the second state to impose a tax on wind power, and its tax would be the nation’s highest, under a proposal announced Monday by Gov. Mary Fallin. In her executive budget, Fallin proposed a 0.5 cent per kilowatt hour tax on electricity from wind generation. She also wants to sunset existing tax incentives for the wind industry earlier than planned. The proposals brought praise from groups opposing wind incentives, but wind industry representatives said they could chill . . .
While driving back home from Oklahoma City to Enid after having dinner with our daughter and grandson on Oklahoma 3 to Okarche, I noticed all of the red lights blinking on the wind turbine towers in the area. If a person wishes to understand or see why the state of Oklahoma has such a big budget problem, take a drive down Highway 3 at night to see all of the blinking lights on the wind turbine towers. You can also . . .
OKLAHOMA CITY – New plans to cub tax incentives for wind farms are churning controversy, as green energy supporters say sudden limits could imperil the industry. But newly elected Sen. Michael Bergstrom, R-Adair, who has filed a measure to cap annual payouts to wind farms at $25 million, said it’s time to face reality. “As I started digging into it, I started realizing that this credit could bankrupt us,” he said. The subsidies, known as zero-emission tax credits, are shaping up . . .
The single largest gift during the period was the $9,927 spent by a lobbyist from NextEra Energy Operating Services. The renewable energy company, which owns five wind farms in Oklahoma, paid for a House GOP caucus event on Dec. 4, according to the filings. The lobbying comes as Oklahoma’s wind-power tax credit, which costs the state more than $100 million a year, is being considered for curtailment in the wake of a review by the state’s Incentive Evaluation Commission. (Contrast NextEra’s gift with the largest one in the same period of 2016: The state-created Grand River Dam Authority spent $8,250 on an event to which all lawmakers were invited.)
OKLAHOMA CITY – Seeking funding for teacher pay raises as promised in his campaign, Ok. District 1 Senator Micheal Bergstrom, is proposing a cap on wind credits. Wind credits are a part of the Tax Credit for zero emission facilities. State Sen. Bergstrom has filed a bill that would cap tax credits at $25 million statewide for electricity generated by zero emission facilities, including wind energy, and another that could use the savings to provide a graduated teacher pay raise . . .
When negotiating the lease for a wind development on tribal land north of Ponca City, the Cherokee Nation insisted on preserving the way one particular part of the property looks: the historic Chilocco Indian School. Built in 1883, the boarding school operated for nearly a century and was seen as a “home and haven to some, reformatory and prison to others,” as described by the Oklahoma Historical Society. No wind turbines will stand within a mile of the campus, which . . .
A new wind project may be coming to Alfalfa, Major and Garfield counties. NextEra Energy Resources Inc., is proposing a 250-megawatt project in the area. Spokesman Steve Stengel said the proposed project is in early development stages. “What we’re doing at this point is talking to land owners to gauge their interest in this project as well as looking at the electric system to see where our project would interconnect into the grid,” Stengel said. “We’re also talking to potential . . .