Bill for wind farm moratorium in eastern Oklahoma moves along

The Senate Energy Committee passed a bill this week that would put a moratorium on wind developments east of Interstate 35 in Oklahoma until 2017. The legislation also calls for a study of wind energy in the eastern part of the state.
Oklahoman Published: February 21, 2014
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“We just need a little direction from the people with vested interests,” he said.

Another bill, SB 1559 by Sen. Cliff Branan, R-Oklahoma City, passed out of committee last week. It puts tighter bonding requirements on wind projects for decommissioning and establishes a quarter-mile setback from homes or homes under construction. The bill also requires wind turbines to be no louder than 50 decibels from a distance of 1,000 feet.

Arnella Karges, vice president of government affairs for the State Chamber of Oklahoma, said policymakers have worked hard to make sure Oklahoma is a leader in wind energy production, which has spurred billions of dollars in capital investments.

“It’s unfortunate that we are seeing bills this legislative session aimed at either restricting wind farm developments or halting future projects altogether,” Karges said. “Why have policies which encourage wind production in our state and then not allow that development? The State Chamber supports an ‘all of the above’ energy portfolio for Oklahoma, and wind power is part of that.”

Oklahoma has several incentives for wind developers, including a five-year exemption of local property taxes. The state reimburses counties, schools and other local government units for that lost revenue from the ad valorem reimbursement fund.

Renewable energy developers also can qualify for a state production tax credit of 0.25-cents to 0.75-cents per kilowatt hour of electricity generated.


by Paul Monies
Energy Reporter
Paul Monies is an energy reporter for The Oklahoman. He has worked at newspapers in Texas and Missouri and most recently was a data journalist for USA Today in the Washington D.C. area. Monies also spent nine years as a business reporter and...
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It’s unfortunate that we are seeing bills this legislative session aimed at either restricting wind farm developments or halting future projects altogether.”

Arnella Karges,
Vice president of government

affairs for the State Chamber of Oklahoma

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