Public Service Co. of Oklahoma Thursday announced it has signed long-term agreements to buy about 198 megawatts of wind energy from two new wind farms planned for western Oklahoma.
The announcement means Oklahoma’s two largest electric utilities, PSO and OG&E Energy Corp., each soon expect to pass a major milestone by generating more than 10 percent of their electrical power from renewable wind energy.
"As the state’s largest provider of wind power, PSO is proud to bring even more clean, renewable energy to our Oklahoma customers,” said Stuart Solomon, PSO president and chief operating officer.
"Wind energy is an increasingly important part of our portfolio and with these purchases, energy from wind resources will represent a significant portion of our energy mix,” Solomon said.
PSO’s new agreements call for it to purchase 98.9 megawatts of power from a wind farm to be constructed 10 miles west of Elk City by NextEra Energy Resource (formerly FPL Energy), and 99 megawatts from an expansion of Horizon Wind Energy’s Blue Canyon facilities, located north of Lawton.
Both sites are expected to be online by Dec. 31, officials said, adding that purchase of the new wind energy will not result in higher prices for utility customers.
PSO already has contracts to buy 392.7 megawatts of wind energy, so the addition of 197.9 megawatts of new wind energy will give the utility 590.6 megawatts of wind energy capacity.
One megawatt represents enough energy to supply the needs of about 250 to 300 homes, said Stan Whiteford, PSO spokesman.
"When the two new wind farms are up and running, we should have wind energy supplying about 11 percent of our power,” Whiteford said.