GRDA To Buy 100 MW Of Wind From Apex, Expects To Save Millions

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Oklahoma-based utility Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) has announced a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Apex Clean Energy to buy 100 MW from the developer's Kay Wind project.

The wind farm, located in Kay County, Okla., is scheduled for completion in 2015, and GRDA expects the deal to save its customers about $50 million over the project's lifetime.

"We're excited about the opportunity to add more renewable energy to our portfolio," says GRDA CEO Dan Sullivan. "Additional wind power is a key point in our long-term generation plan, and this agreement allows us to use Oklahoma wind to generate long-term benefits for Oklahoma ratepayers. Oklahoma wind provides a greater balance and diversity in the generation portfolio and can equal lower costs."

Under another agreement, the GRDA is already receiving 48 MW of wind power from the Canadian Hills Wind Farm near El Reno, Okla., which Apex developed and built. "We could not be more pleased to be working with GRDA on another renewable energy purchase," comments Mark Goodwin, president of Apex.

GRDA says the Kay Wind project is expected to generate about $53 million in local tax revenue and about $48 million in local landowner payments over the project's lifetime, in addition to over $228 million in local expenditures on goods and services throughout construction and operation. It is also anticipated to create or help maintain 218 local jobs during the construction phase and 45 local jobs to operate the wind farm throughout its lifetime.

GRDA also has agreements in place with TradeWind Energy Inc. for 235 MW from two other Oklahoma wind farms. With these recent agreements, the utility says wind power now accounts for well over 15% of its total generation capability – a large increase from a 3% share in 2012.

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