Oklahoma will be the first state in the country to draw power from the wind for its Governor’s Mansion when a donated turbine is installed on the grounds in the coming weeks.
Norman-based Bergey Windpower Co. offered the 10-kilowatt turbine about a year ago, owner Mike Bergey said, when he learned the state Department of Central Services was looking for ways to "green up” the mansion. It took some time to get state officials and neighborhood residents to discuss the move, but Bergey said he expects the turbine to be running by the beginning of December. It will be placed about 100 feet behind the mansion’s Phillips Pavilion. While it won’t provide enough electricity for all the 12-room mansion’s needs at 823 NE 23, Bergey said, it will make a dent in Gov. Brad Henry’s electric bill and carbon footprint. He said one such turbine, costing about $60,000, can power a 2,500-square-foot home. Bergey said the mansion project is going to cost about $80,000 since it will include an oversize 120-foot tower to allow a larger turbine in the future. Henry said he was pleased to accept Bergey’s donation. "The gift to the state will pay dividends for many years to come in terms of cost savings and environmental efficiencies,” Henry said in a news release. The turbine has a role in a larger effort by the Department of Central Services to make state buildings more energy efficient, Director John Richard said. "Our overriding goal in all of our ‘greening’ projects is to the save the state money and make it more environmentally friendly in the process,” Richard said.