Acciona starts commercial operation in Oklahoma

Acciona said that its Big Smile Wind Farm at Dempsey Ridge (formerly Dempsey Ridge Wind Farm) in Oklahoma has started commercial operation.

The company said the project has been renamed in memory of a colleague, Jennifer “Jen” Koop-Krass, the director of energy marketing at Acciona Energy North America, who was one of the earliest employees upon its entry into the North American market. She died in 2011.

The 132 MW project, formerly called Dempsey Ridge Wind Farm, is located on 10,888 acres of Roger Mills and Beckham Counties in Oklahoma. The project is located just 15 miles west of Acciona’s 123 MW Red Hills Wind Farm that was put into service in June 2009. Red Hills Wind Farm was the first wind farm in the U.S. to be validated and registered under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) and listed on APX`s VCS Carbon Registry, an effort led Krass. With a renewable portfolio standard in Oklahoma, the VCS is a way for projects to monetize carbon offsets in the voluntary market.

Acciona completed the installation of the 66 wind turbines that make up the new facility prior to the end of last year. They have been powered up and gradually connected to the grid, reaching full commercial operation this week.

The Big Smile Wind Farm at Dempsey Ridge will create enough clean energy to power around 46,000 homes in Oklahoma and surrounding states and will avoid the emission of approximately 339,000 metric tons of CO2 per year from conventional power plants. The project will generate more than $20 million in tax revenue for Roger Mills County and will provide supplemental income to participating agricultural landowners through its 99 lease agreements, according to the company.