TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma ranks fourth in the nation in installed wind power capacity, and enough wind projects are set to come online by the end of the year to push the state higher in the nation’s wind energy rankings, according to wind power advocates.
Oklahoma currently ranks third in wind power construction activity as well as total wind energy generation, according to Hannah Hunt, a senior industry data analyst with the American Wind Energy Association. Wind energy provided enough electricity to power the equivalent of 1.3 million average U.S. households in 2015.
Last year, wind energy provided more than 18 percent of Oklahoma’s energy production, and the industry provides 7,000 jobs in the state.
“We’re really excited to see Oklahoma is building on its legacy as an energy producing state,” Hunt said.
Texas currently leads the nation in installed wind power capacity, with Iowa coming in second and California third, the Tulsa World reported Monday (http://bit.ly/2d5WYKY ).
In terms of the future growth of wind, Hunt said that the industry is on its way toward the goal of wind energy supplying 20 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030.
Clean Line Energy Partners is one of the companies that is building the nation’s transmission infrastructure. The Houston-based company is working on five different transmission projects to move renewable energy across the country, including the Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission project, which received its last major regulatory approval from the U.S. Department of Energy in late March.
Plains & Eastern is an approximately 700-mile overhead, direct-current transmission line that will connect 3,500 megawatts of clean energy generation from western Oklahoma, southwest Kansas and the Texas Panhandle with utilities and customers in Tennessee, Arkansas and other markets in the Mid-South and Southeast.
More than $1 billion of investment in the privately financed project will be in Oklahoma.