HOUSTON – OGE Energy Corp (OGE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is prepared to build a new high-voltage transmission line to accelerate development of wind generation in Oklahoma, the utility company chief executive said on Tuesday.
Oklahoma City-based OG&E Electric Services said new transmission is needed to unlock the potential for power to flow from future wind farms in the western part of the state to populated cities in the east.
Chief Executive Officer Pete Delaney said OG&E, Oklahoma’s largest electric utility, plans to significantly increase its wind production from 170 megawatts to 770 MW over the next five years to meet increased customer demand for renewable power.
“The significant amount of wind in western Oklahoma is a largely untapped resource that is in increasing demand in Oklahoma and across the nation,” Delaney said in a statement.
OG&E would like to see Oklahoma climb from the sixth-largest wind-power production state to the third largest, behind Texas and California, said spokesman Brian Alford.
Developers are talking to OG&E about building wind turbines in west and northwest Oklahoma, Alford said. “They realize it will take transmission infrastructure to bring this to fruition,” Alford said.
OG&E wants to build a key stretch of a new transmission line from Oklahoma City to Woodward, eventually extending the line to Guymon, Delaney said. Wind farms can generally be built faster than transmission line projects.