Oklahoma State getting most of its power now from wind

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin along with Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis and OGE Energy (NYSE: OGE) Chairman, CEO and President Pete Delaney “flipped the switch” Feb. 15 to celebrate the use of wind energy as the main source of electricity for the OSU-Stillwater campus.

The Cowboy Wind Farm, located near Blackwell, Okla., generates this energy. The 26-turbine wind farm was completed in December 2012 and began generating electricity for the campus on Jan. 1, the university noted in a Feb. 15 announcement.

“Oklahoma’s wind resources are among the best in the world,” said Fallin. “I’m proud that Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma Gas & Electric, one of the state’s oldest energy companies, are working to harness the potential of more homegrown wind energy. Investments in Oklahoma resources, such as wind and natural gas, help grow our state’s economy by keeping Oklahoma dollars in state while delivering the same value to consumers.”

The wind farm is the result of a 20-year agreement between OSU and OG&E signed in December 2011. OG&E contracted with NextEra Energy to build a 60-MW wind farm to support the OSU project.

OG&E has total wind capacity totaling 840 MW, which is about 12% of the company’s total electric generation. With the start-up of the Cowboy Wind Farm, the OSU-Stillwater campus now receives 67% of its electricity from wind generation. Natural gas helps supply the remaining power.

“The Cowboy Wind Farm is just another way OSU is showing its commitment to use our natural resources wisely and efficiently,” said Hargis. “As a land-grant university, we have an historic responsibility to lead the way in the areas of sustainability. Natural gas and wind are two abundant natural resources in Oklahoma, and using them together to generate power for our Stillwater campus enables us to achieve a higher level of environmental stewardship while also supporting Oklahoma’s all-important energy driven economy.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.