Using Wind Power

Wednesday, May 21st 2008, 7:40 am
By: News On 6

Oklahoma Gas & Electric has started planning for a transmission line that will provide wind energy to more of its customers, allowing them to go green.

News On 6 reporter Mary Joseph says OG&E is excited with the plan.

"We have about the eighth windiest state," Gill Broyles with OG&E said.

That wind can lead to a renewable energy option for more Oklahomans. OG&E has filed a plan with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to build a transmission line, which would start in Woodward and travel about 120 miles south to Oklahoma City.

"We need to expand our transmission capacity so we can build out more wind farms in Western Oklahoma," Boyles said.

OG&E said this is an effort to go green, and would diversify the energy base beyond coal and natural gas.

"Wind on the other hand is a more predictable resource in terms of its cost," Boyles said. "Obviously, it also gives us an opportunity to produce electricity without producing any emissions."

The high capacity line could provide wind energy from western Oklahoma to more populous parts of the state, but the price tag is around $221 million.

"It approaches $2 million a mile to build the transmission facilities in this first phase," Boyle said.

"If the Corporation Commission approves the plan, OG&E customers can expect to see an increase in their monthly bill.

Boyles said the increase will be about $1.50 a month for an average user, beginning in 2010 when the transmission line will be in service.

OG&E asked the Corporation Commission to review and approve the plan by July 31. If it is approved, construction on the line will start later this year.