Cherokee Nation approves joint wind power project

The Cherokee Nation will partner with four other tribes in north-central Oklahoma’s Kay County to develop a 90-turbine wind farm.

According to Tulsa World, the four additional tribes participating in the project include the Kaw Nation, Otoe-Missouria Tribe, Pawnee Nation and Ponca Nation. A 45 turbine, 3,000 acre facility on Cherokee-owned property as well as another 45 turbine, 3,000 acre facility on land owned by the four other tribes will be jointly operated by all five parties involved in the project. 

The Cherokee Nation partnered with Chicago-based PNE Wind USA Inc. for the wind farm. Tribe officials told the source that development on the wind farm will begin immediately. Once the wind farm is complete, it will be the largest of its kind on tribal land, Tulsa World reported. 

“The Cherokee Nation is playing a significant role in creating new green jobs and expects to play a key role in Oklahoma’s emerging wind energy industry,” said Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker. “The Cherokee Nation is committed to growing the Oklahoma economy, helping reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and creating sustainable jobs for our people in the renewable energy sector.”

The project will generate an estimated $16 million over the next 20 years, and it is expected to add 153 megawatts of power to the Southwest grid, the source stated. Oklahoma ranks sixth overall in wind capacity with 3,135 megawatts of wind power generation after adding 1,127 megawatts of wind capacity last year. According to Tulsa World, wind power totals 10.5 percent of the state’s total electrical generation.