Oklahoma wind farm will provide energy to Missouri

Developer Wind Capital Group announced it has reached a power purchase agreement with a Missouri electric cooperative that will buy 150 megawatts of electricity from a wind farm planned for Osage County. The Osage County Wind Energy Facility will be the first utility-scale wind farm in Oklahoma to be built east of Interstate 35.

"Osage County has a fantastic wind resource and is proof positive that all of Oklahoma has an ability to take advantage of Oklahoma’s wind resource," said Kylah McNabb, wind development specialist for the state Commerce Department.

"This is continued proof as well that Oklahoma’s appetite for wind projects is strong and we are able to provide economical and clean energy to consumers in a challenging economic time."

Construction on the Osage County project is expected to begin this fall, with plans to have it in service by June 2012.

The wind farm will be located west of Pawhuska on a noncontiguous footprint of fewer than 120 acres.

St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group will own and operate Osage County Wind, with its power going to Missouri-based Associated Electric Cooperative Inc.

"The signing of this power purchase agreement is a major milestone in the development of the Osage County Wind Energy Facility," Wind Capital Group CEO Ciaran O’Brien said. "With over 350 megawatts in power purchase agreements and an aggressive twelve month build schedule, Wind Capital Group is taking another significant step toward being one of the leading wind developers in the United States."

Over the life of the project, Osage County Wind is expected to provide more than $30 million in property tax revenues to Osage County, long-term lease payments to landowners and $1.5 million in regional business during construction.

The wind energy project will create 250 on-site construction jobs and up to 15 permanent positions during operation.

McNabb said the project will push Oklahoma past 2,000 megawatts of installed wind power next year.

"Oklahoma is home to 14 wind power projects, with an installed capacity of 1,482 megawatts," she said. "There is currently close to 500 megawatts under construction in 3 wind turbines projects."