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Dec 27, 2019

Gulf Pacific Power buys majority stake in Oklahoma wind farms

Journal Record | December 27, 2019
Daisy Creager

Three Oklahoma wind farms are partially changing hands as 80% of owner Enel Green Power North America’s Renewable Energy Holdings has been acquired by Gulf Pacific Power.

REH has a portfolio of 812 megawatts between five wind projects, including the 235-MW Chisholm View wind farm in Grant and Garfield counties, the 200-MW Goodwell wind farm in Texas County and the 150-MW Origin wind farm in Murray and Carter counties.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not released, but EGPNA will continue to operate the projects and retain a 20% stake in REH. Formed to invest in North American power infrastructure, GPP is backed by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and Harbert Management Corp., according to an HMC press release.

The deal is GPP’s second investment in Oklahoma wind power, following its 2017 acquisition of an 80% stake in the Rocky Caney, a 300-MW portfolio of projects in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Also included in the latest acquisition are a 200-MW facility in Minnesota and a 27-MW facility in Newfoundland, Canada.

HMC could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman said in the release the project is “a strong strategic fit” for GPP’s existing renewables portfolio.

“We are pleased at this opportunity to extend and strengthen our existing relationship with Enel Green Power, a world-class renewable energy developer and operator,” the unnamed spokesman said.

About 15 miles northeast of Enid, the Chisholm View facility began operating in December 2012. It uses 140 turbines on 45,000 acres, involving 150 landowners. It has a power purchase agreement with Alabama Power Co., a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Co.

About 15 miles southeast of Guymon, the Goodwell facility began operating in December 2012. It uses 100 turbines on 23,000 acres and has a PPA with American Electric Power. 

The Origin facility has 75 turbines on 18,000 acres and involves two landowners. It began operation in November 2014.  

Responsible for 36% of Oklahoma’s electricity, wind facilities in the state generate enough energy in the state to power 2.3 million average homes. Oklahoma has 8,017 MW of installed capacity in the state, according to the Advanced Power Alliance.

While wind farms are largely in the western part of Oklahoma, APA Vice President Mark Yates told The Journal Record in August that changes in infrastructure needs and technology are leading investments in the industry east. 

“As technology has advanced, it’s enabled companies to continue to develop in areas where the resource isn’t as rich as the Panhandle or western Oklahoma, where we have a very abundant resource,” Yates said.

Yates wrote in a recent column that the state has also benefited from the resource as companies interested in using it have invested in Oklahoma, such as Google’s recent $600 million expansion of its Pryor facility and Amazon’s Tulsa distribution center.

Our state is known for “the best wind in the world,” and now that we have harnessed its power and reaped its economic benefits, we must continue to diversify our energy portfolio,” Yates wrote.

Read more here.