A deal between the Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), of American Electric Power (AEP) and developing wind farm facilities in the Oklahoma Panhandle is expected to save Oklahomans an estimated $53 million annually in energy costs. Over the next two years, there will be three large-scale wind farms in addition to the current one.
Wind energy companies Apex Clean Energy Holdings LLC, Next Era Energy Resources LLC, and TradeWind Energy each made a 20-year agreement with the PSO-AEP for 600 megawatts of wind-generated electricity. Pending approval from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Oklahoma residents will enjoy wind energy beginning January 1, 2016.
The 600 megawatts of energy will generate enough electricity to power 200,000 homes, and will be drawn from each of the three energy companies at 200 megawatts apiece. The deal will create jobs and is expected to bring hundred of millions of dollars into the local economy. The deal with Apex alone will create about 250 jobs and generate about $333 million.
“Oklahoma’s natural resources and the leadership of lawmakers have made it an ideal state for wind-energy investment,” TradeWind CEO Rob Freeman said. “Oklahoma’s thoughtful policies have helped encourage development of a resource that is mutually beneficial to ratepayers, local communities and the environment.”
In the state of Oklahoma, wind energy has already employed up to about 5,000 people. In 2012, the state became sixth in the nation in wind power, generating over 3,000 megawatts of wind-powered electricity.