Wind power getting cheaper for Oklahoma utility customers

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. has slashed the price this year for customers who want to get all or part of their power from wind.
by Jay F. Marks Modified: June 13, 2013 at 9:46 pm •  Published: June 14, 2013
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Wind power is getting to be a less expensive proposition for many Oklahoma electrical users.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. has slashed the price of its Wind Power program, which allows customers to get 25 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent of their electricity from wind.

This year's prices are about half of what they were last year, officials said, because wind has become a more affordable alternative to traditional fuel sources such as coal or natural gas.

Mike Newcombe, the Oklahoma City-based utility's product portfolio manager, said the wind program is in its 10th year.

“Customers could first enroll in wind power at the state fair in 2003,” he said.

Over the past decade, OG&E has added 841 megawatts of wind power capacity to its generation portfolio, which totals 6,358 megawatts.

The company has been recognized by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as one of the top 10 green power sellers. OG&E sold about 210,000 megawatts of wind power last year, good for No. 9 on the list.

“Participating in utility green power programs allows consumers to support renewable energy above and beyond what utilities are procuring to comply with state renewable portfolio standards,” analyst Jenny Heeter said.

“These utilities are offering first-rate programs that give their customers an opportunity to support renewable energy deployment.”

Newcombe said OG&E has almost 12,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers enrolled in its wind program.

He said research has shown customers appreciate the opportunity to opt for wind power, if they choose. Most of those who participate opt for 100 percent of their power to be wind-supplied, he said.


by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
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At a glance

By the numbers

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. customers can choose to get part or all of their electricity from wind power. The utility's Wind Power program costs a few extra dollars a month for the average customer, who uses about 12,000 kilowatts of electricity a year.

25 percent = $1.13 more a month.

50 percent = $2 more a month.

100 percent = $3.50 more a month.

About 12,000 OG&E customers have signed up to get their power from wind.

Information

To sign up for OG&E's Wind Power program, customers can call (800) 272-9741 or log in to their account on oge.com. The website will show customers how much power they use and how much it will cost to switch to wind.

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