wind energy

Energy
11:33 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Scrutiny of Subsidies Could Test the Economics of Wind Energy in Oklahoma

A NextEra Renewable Energy Resources wind farm site near Elk City, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The 2015 session is still months away, but the newly elected Oklahoma Legislature has already started talking about how to divvy up roughly $7 billion in state appropriations.

Some prominent lawmakers are promising to re-examine tax credits and economic incentives worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Some of those incentives are used for wind energy, which the industry says are working.

Big Wind

Oklahoma is in the middle of a wind boom. In the last five years, installed wind power capacity has soared more than 200 percent. Last year, Oklahoma was the country’s fourth-largest producer of wind-powered electricity, data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency show. But every energy boom comes with a cost.

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Local News
8:57 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Headlines: High School Football, 2015 Legislature & Norman Rape

Headlines for Thursday, December 4, 2014:

  • A controversial high school playoff game won’t get replayed despite protestations from the NAACP and Oklahoma City lawmakers. (NewsOK)

  • Lawmakers are getting ready for the upcoming legislative session which starts February 2. (Journal Record)

  • A former Norman High School student accused of rape gets arraigned. (News9)

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Energy
1:22 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Possible Wind Energy Regulation Coming to Oklahoma

A wind-powered water pump and a wind-driven electricity turbine share a field near the town of Calumet in western Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Tuesday ended its four-month inquiry into wind energy development in Oklahoma. The examination could lead to new rules, though it’s not clear what they might be or which agency would enforce them.

The commission heard from vocal landowners for and against wind farms. Developers lauded the economic potential of Oklahoma’s wind, while conservationists and Indian tribes warned that, left unchecked, turbines would kill threatened bird species and ruin delicate grasslands.

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Local News
8:09 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Headlines: Meth Money, Osage Wind Farms & Education

Here is a sampling of headlines for the morning of November 19, 2014:

  • Oklahoma is getting more than $200,000 to battle meth. (Enid News & Eagle)
     
  • A Duncan man accused in the shooting death of a baseball player from Australia waives his right to a preliminary hearing. (Duncan Banner)
     
  • Opponents of two planned wind farms in Osage County say they'll keep fighting the developments. (Tulsa World)
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Energy
4:33 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Wanted: Wind Turbine Mechanic — Must Be Daredevil, Skilled With Hands

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 6:59 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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StateImpact Oklahoma
10:55 am
Thu October 9, 2014

How a Wind Farm is Helping Save the Family Farm in Western Oklahoma

Monte Tucker, left, stands with his son and dad on the family's farm near Sweetwater, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

In the ongoing debate about Oklahoma’s wind industry and whether it needs stricter regulation, two types of property owners have been the most vocal: those who hate the idea of turbines next door, and those eager to lease land to a wind company.

But there’s a voice that’s been largely absent from the discussion so far: Landowners who have wind farms and like them.

Family, Factory

For four generations, Monte Tucker’s family has been squeezing life out of the land. Dead tree stumps become renewable winter energy sources. And if you have an excited 3-year-old boy with a hatchet, like Tucker’s son Reid, the labor to harvest that energy comes with zero cost.

“For some reason, he’s just been obsessed with chopping firewood lately,” Tucker says as he watches his son drag a stump onto the gravel driveway of the family’s home.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
9:00 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Oklahoma Oil and Gas Regulator Wrestles With Oversight of Wind Industry

Wind turbines line the horizon near Kingfisher, Okla.
MTNEER_MAN / FLICKR

Corporation Commission meetings are usually pretty dull, but the Sept. 11 technical conference on wind energy was standing room only. It was lively — and theatrical.

When Tammy Huffstutlar of Calumet took her turn at the microphone, she cued up recordings of whirring wind turbines to accompany her testimony.

“I don’t know if you can hear this or not, but this is my life,” she told Corporation Commissioners Dana Murphy and Bob Anthony, who presided over the meeting. “That’s why I’m here talking about property rights and regulation.”

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StateImpact Oklahoma
5:56 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Oil, Drought and Earthquakes Discussed at Governor’s Energy Conference

Col. Michael Teague, Secretary of Energy and Environment, and Governor Mary Fallin speak at the Governor's Energy Conference on Thursday afternoon.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Politicians, agency leaders and energy industry executives gathered in Oklahoma City Thursday for the Governor’s Energy Conference. The annual event is largely promotional, but as Joe Wertz from StateImpact reports, it also serves as a preview of the biggest energy policy topics for the coming year.

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Energy
4:16 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Oklahoma Wind Power Companies Run Into Headwinds

A wind-powered water pump and a wind-driven electricity turbine share a field near the town of Calumet in western Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz NPR

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:57 am

Oklahoma is the nation's fourth-largest generator of wind energy. But wind developers in the northeast corner of the state, where the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve lies, are up against stiff opposition from an unlikely pair of allies: environmentalists and oil interests.

Bob Hamilton, director of the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, has been fighting to block construction of a 68-turbine wind farm.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:47 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Why Oklahoma’s Wind Energy Future Could Be Shaped by Osage County

Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is moving up the national ranks in wind-generated electricity. But as wind farms expand into northeastern Oklahoma, developers are facing a team of unlikely allies: Oil interests and environmentalists. But as StateImpact’s Joe Wertz reports, the wind farm fight in Osage County could affect the whole state.

The males are rowdy, the females are frisky. It’s bison breeding season in Oklahoma. This is the time when horns lock and fur flies.

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