The wind energy boom has largely evaded Oklahoma’s Panhandle, but new turbine projects and a proposal for a $2 billion transmission line could transform the prairie into a national wind energy hub.
But the projects are being planned amid uncertainty at the state Capitol, where tax credits for the wind industry are in the crosshairs.
FILLING IN THE TRANSMISSION GAP
Despite being one of the state’s richest sources of wind energy, the Oklahoma Panhandle is home to very few wind farms.
Carroll Beaman knows why. The fourth-generation farmer was born during the height of the Dust Bowl and still owns the homestead his family settled shortly after the turn of the century.
“It’s very sparsely settled,” he says. “No industry, except for some of the oil and gas, so it’s never had transmission.”