Wind turbine to be activated

Tuesday, October 14th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WOODWARD, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. prepared Tuesday to activate the first of its 34 wind turbines and announced that all should be operating by Nov. 1.

``We're extremely excited about the project,'' OG&E spokesman Brian Alford said Monday. ``This has been a project we've been looking at for some time. To see it come to fruition is really a joy for us.''

OG&E's 34 turbines make up Phase II of the 102-megawatt Woodward project.

The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority will buy power generated in Phase I, which is expected to be fully operational in the coming weeks.

Besides the two Woodward wind farms, a third wind project is under construction north of Lawton. Western Farmers Electric Cooperative will buy power from the 64-megawatt Blue Canyon Wind Farm, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

In addition to producing the wind-generated electricity, the state's electric companies are looking at ways to market the so-called ``green power'' to their customers.

Just more than four weeks into OG&E's marketing campaign, more than 500 customers have signed up to buy at least some of their electricity needs from the Woodward wind farm.

``This is about where we thought we would be in this process,'' Alford said. ``The customers will begin receiving informational material in their electric bills in October. That's when we hope to have more customers enroll.''

The utility said it expects to eventually have about 2 percent of its customers, or 14,000 people, sign up for the wind power program.

``We don't expect to achieve that in short order,'' Alford said. ``That's where other programs have plateaued, and that's after several years.''

The green power carries a surcharge of 2 cents per kilowatt-hour. Customers who choose that option, however, will not have to pay the fuel cost adjustment charge, which covers the cost of natural gas and other fuels in the mix.

The fuel adjustment charge varies from month to month, but currently costs OG&E customers about 1.4 cents per kilowatt-hour.