New Oklahoma wind farm brings economic benefits

Local communities near Enid, Okla., are seeing a boost in business as construction begins on the 235-MW Chisholm View Wind Power Project, according to the Enid News and Eagle newspaper.

Enid Regional Development Alliance Executive Director Brent Kisling noted that there are about 200 people currently working on the wind energy project, and patronizing local motels, stores and restaurants.

In addition to the short-term lift to local businesses, though, he pointed to longer-term impacts of the wind farm: “The reason this is significant in the long term is two-fold. First, it’s about a $400 million investment in our area, and once that wind farm is complete, they will be the largest ad valorem taxpayer in the county. The second reason is each of those turbines pays a royalty to the landowner, similar to oil and natural gas royalties, and that’s a 20-year contract.

“This is going to generate millions of dollars into our economy in the form of royalty payments, and that’s all money that’s going to go to local retailers and the paychecks of people locally. It’s a significant long-term investment in our communities and our region.”

Electricity from the wind power project will be sold to Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Southern Co. The Chisholm View Wind Energy Project will consist of 140 1.68-MW GE wind turbines, and is expected to generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 80,000 Alabama homes, according to project developer TradeWind Energy. Currently, the project is owned by EFS Chisholm, a subsidiary of GE Financial Services, and Enel Green Power North America.

Tom Gray,