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Sep 4, 2014

Oklahoma Governor’s Energy Conference Showcases State’s Diverse Energy Economy

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Each year, the Oklahoma Governor’s Energy Conference gathers industry leaders from the various sectors of the energy economy.  Oklahoma is a world leader in energy development and the conference showcases the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that has pushed the state to the forefront.

The Wind Coalition is proud to be a participant in this year’s Conference and is especially proud of the role wind now plays as a part of the Oklahoma energy economy.

Oklahoma’s leadership in oil and gas development is well known internationally, but many are unaware of the state’s incredible wind energy resource and the great strides that have been made in harnessing that energy for the benefit of consumers, and the Oklahoma economy.

Oklahoma now has more than 3,000 MW of wind energy generation capacity installed across the state. This fleet provides 14.8% of the electricity used in Oklahoma, using advanced technologies to create it from clean, infinite Oklahoma wind.  The power generated by Oklahoma wind is enough to power more than one million average American homes.

The 1,712 turbines making up the Oklahoma wind generation fleet are placed on primarily on private land, and represent a more than $6 billion capital investment in rural communities.  Rural landowners participating in wind projects – primarily Oklahoma farmers and ranchers – benefit from annual lease payments, a tremendous help for the farmers and ranchers now struggling in the grip of a crippling drought. And, because 95% to 98% of their land remains available for agriculture, their farm and ranch livelihoods continue with the added security of a “wind harvest.”

Wind energy projects bring with them jobs, tax revenue for communities and schools, and long-term, affordable, drought-resistant power.

The economic benefits of wind energy development are clear, but wind may be best known for its environmental benefits.  Because wind energy generation requires no water, Oklahoma’s wind generation fleet saves more than 2.3 billion. gallons of water each year. That’s water available for other uses including agriculture and industry. And, the wind energy fleet helps avoid 5,451,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide omissions year, the equivalent of taking nearly 961,000 cars off the road.  These environmental benefits are helpful in complying with federal environmental standards and — in the aggregate — help to take pressure off of other Oklahoma industries, such as manufacturing, for whom emission reductions may be less easily attained.

Wind energy development is a natural fit for a state like Oklahoma with its vast wind energy and natural gas resources. Wind and natural gas are complementary power sources and, when used in tandem, can meet Oklahoma’s electricity generation needs, and help keep more of Oklahoma consumers’ energy dollars at home, working in the Oklahoma economy.

The Wind Coalition today celebrates with the entire Oklahoma energy industry and applauds Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin for her leadership in developing an “all of the above” energy strategy for the state.  We look forward to working with her and her administration as she continues to bring investment and opportunity to Oklahoma by supporting the state’s diverse energy industries.

For more information on the economic benefits of wind energy
development in Oklahoma, please reference the economic study conducted by
The Economic Impact Group, LLC. The study is available by clicking here.