Public Service to allow Oklahoma customers to buy wind energy

The Tulsa-based utility company Friday unveiled its WindChoice program, which allows customers to buy wind power for their homes or businesses.

"Harnessing Oklahoma’s abundant, infinitely renewable wind to generate electricity makes more sense than ever," said Kathy Champion, PSO’s energy efficiency and consumer programs manager. "Wind energy conserves nonrenewable natural resources for other uses, it helps to protect our natural environment and, when you purchase WindChoice, you are supporting Oklahoma’s fast-growing wind energy industry."

Wind power for the new program will come from the Minco Wind Farm, a 99-megawatt facility that has been operational since late December.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative offer similar programs. OG&E’s program has been in place since 2003, spokesman Brian Alford said.

"We have about 10,000 subscribers who have opted to pay a little more for additional wind power," he said. PSO spokesman Stan Whiteford said customers who opt for the company’s new wind program will pay a little more in fuel costs, but that could change if coal or natural gas prices increase in the future.

Public Service Co. will sell wind power in 100 kilowatt hour blocks for $1.72 each. Most residential customers use about 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each month, Whiteford said.