Utilities pay because of poor wind forecasts

Wednesday, December 1st 2004, 10:03 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Electric utilities in Oklahoma say their poor wind forecasts are costing them millions of dollars and threaten the development of wind power in the state.

The utilities reserve space on transmission lines by estimating their electric usage an hour ahead of time. But the turbines only generate electricity when the wind blows and the utilities pay a $100 per kilowatt hour penalty for inacurate estimates.

The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority says it's paid about $3.2-million in penalties this year.

Ken Zimmerman with the state Corporation Commission says new wind forecasting tools are expected by early next year.