|OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. today filed a renewable energy program with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission detailing its commitment to quadruple its wind energy capacity in the state to 770 megawatts (MW). |
The company described as an important first step its plan to construct a high-capacity transmission line between Woodward and Oklahoma City to further develop the state's vast wind energy potential.
The filing also includes a request to begin providing a renewable energy option that will allow more OG&E customers to choose up to 100 percent renewable energy.
“The comprehensive filing reflects our integrated approach to renewables development in Oklahoma. OG&E is seeking permission to not only build the infrastructure requested to provide a much greater supply of wind energy, but also a tariff to enable our customers to be 100 percent green in their electricity purchase,” said Pete Delaney, chairman, president and CEO of OGE Energy Corp. “Wind energy has great value as a hedge against increasing natural gas prices and the potential cost associated with federal greenhouse gas legislation.”
With approval from the Commission, the OG&E renewable energy purchase program could be implemented early next year with the company's existing 170 MW of wind generation. The program would be expanded as new wind generation capacity comes online – a planned 300 MW in 2010 and another 300 MW in 2011 or 2012.
The renewable energy program is part of OG&E's response to a growing demand for electricity in Oklahoma. Demand is growing by about 1.8 percent – or about 100 MW – per year. That is equivalent to the energy used by about 35,000 households. The company plans to address its near-term capacity requirements through a combination of new wind generation, the acquisition of the natural gas-fired Redbud power plant and consumer education programs designed to encourage energy efficiency.
Expanded development of Oklahoma's wind resources will not only benefit utility customers in the state but also produce jobs, landowner royalties and property tax revenues to fund schools and county programs.
OG&E's application asks the Commission to approve the cost to build the transmission line between Woodward and Oklahoma City; for a rider to allow recovery of costs for the transmission line beginning at the time it goes into service; and for approval of the proposed tariff.
OG&E is requesting an order from the Commission by July 31 to keep the transmission line on schedule at the current costs and assure that the development of new wind farms can be coordinated effectively with the availability of new transmission capacity.
The cost of the plan to the average residential customer, including the cost of adding both the new transmission line and new wind generation, is estimated at $1.50 per month in 2010.
The new line is required because existing transmission facilities in the area are nearly at capacity. The new line will be used to transport electricity produced by current and future wind farms in northwestern Oklahoma.
The new transmission line will not only carry electricity produced by OG&E wind farms but also will support power produced by other wind farms in the area. Revenue from providing transmission capacity to other companies will help offset the cost to OG&E customers of constructing the line.
“Extending a high-capacity transmission line between Woodward and Guymon is another important step in unlocking the full wind potential of western Oklahoma,” Delaney said. “And we see the proposal we file today as critical to providing that benefit to our entire state.”
The renewable energy program follows the “Quick Start” energy efficiency plan OG&E filed with the Commission in February. This program provides education, assistance and incentives aimed at helping customers better manage the amount of electricity they use. That plan is being implemented this summer and will be followed next year with the roll out of additional energy efficiency options for OG&E customers.
OGE Energy is the parent company of OG&E Electric Services, a regulated electric utility with more than 765,000 customers in a service area spanning 30,000 square miles in Oklahoma and western Arkansas, and of Enogex Inc., a midstream natural gas pipeline business with principal operations in Oklahoma.
For immediate release May 19, 2008
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