The wind energy industry in Oklahoma has invested more than $6 billion in wind farm construction and contributed more than $1 billion to the production of goods and services in the state, according to a new study commissioned by The Wind Coalition Oklahoma office.
‘Wind energy is no longer 'alternative' energy,’ says Curt Roggow, director of The Wind Coalition Oklahoma. ‘It has become a mainstream, reliable and cost-effective source of energy for the people of Oklahoma.’
Compiled by independent consulting firm Economic Impact Group (EIG), the report also shows that wind industry project construction and operating activities in Oklahoma from 2003 to 2012 created the following:
– More than $340 million in labor income;
– More than 1,600 direct full-time jobs;
– More than 4,000 total jobs including manufacturing and support industries; and
– More than $1.8 billion of economic activity during the first 20-year contracts.
"The property improvements made by developers created a tax base that will provide more than $43 million in property taxes annually to Oklahoma municipalities and school districts following the property tax abatement period," says Russell Evans, principal and co-founder of EIG. "These projects provide more than $22 million annually in payments to local landowners and approximately $15 million in direct wages to local workers."
Oklahoma wind projects range in capacity from 40 MW to 300 MW, with the average facility incorporating 68 turbines to produce 130 MW of energy. These wind farms represent more than 3 GW of electricity generation capacity.
"With 26 active wind farms in our state, Oklahoma is now ranked sixth in the country for the amount of wind energy generated for consumers," Roggow adds. "That's enough energy to power nearly 770,000 homes every year.
"As this industry grows, it is important to understand the economic impact wind energy has on Oklahoma now and the potential it has to meet our future energy and economic needs. This data will be essential for policymakers and elected officials to understand the importance wind energy has in our state, and to forecast its potential impact."