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Frequently Asked Questions

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is electricity that is produced from sources that replenish themselves naturally. This includes wind, solar, and hydro-electric facilities.

What are Oklahoma’s renewable energy assets?

Our state has abundant solar, water, wind, and natural gas resources, and our members are developing, manufacturing, and installing cutting-edge, high-tech renewable energy systems.

Where does the electricity go?

Oklahoma is a member of the Southwest Power Pool. The SPP oversees the bulk electric grid and wholesale power market in the central United States on behalf of a diverse group of utilities and transmission companies in 14 states. Oklahoma’s wind energy provides 36 percent of the total electricity exported from our state.

How much of the electricity remains in Oklahoma?

Ninety-seven percent of the electricity produced by Oklahoma’s 52 wind farms remains in our state to power our homes, our businesses and our cities.

What is the life-span of a wind farm?

A wind farm is typically built based upon a long-term purchase agreement or PPA. These purchase agreements are typically 25 years or more and the life span of a wind farm on average is several decades. The majority of Oklahoma’s wind farms are less than 10 years old and represent the newest and most modern technology available in renewable energy.

What happens after 25 years?

There are two options at the end of a wind farm’s life span:

1. Repowering – As newer, upgraded technology becomes available, renewable energy companies find keep the site in use, but replace older equipment known as “repowering.” Oklahoma wind farms are already known to have the best “wind resource” in the Nation and, with the significant investment made in transmission access, it is more economic to repower the site as upgraded wind farms will produce electricity at a lower cost.

2. Decommissioning While it is unusual, project owners may decide to completely remove a wind farm, which is called “decommissioning.” It is in a company’s best business interest to recycle and reuse equipment. 

However, it should be known that an energy company is always responsible for the removal of the turbines and landowners and the State of Oklahoma will never face the cost of removal.

In fact, the wind industry in Oklahoma will ensure the land is completely restored in the advent of the removal of a wind farm. This includes, removal of wind turbines, towers, and foundations leaving our land in its former condition.

This is yet another example of the Oklahoma wind industry’s commitment to being good stewards of the land as well as the environment.

Pursuant to Oklahoma Statutes Title 17, Chapter 8, § 160.15

Evidence of financial security for decommissioning may include: surety bond, collateral bond, parent guaranty, cash, cashier’s check, certificate of deposit, bank joint custody receipt or other approved negotiable instrument as established in Commission rules. 

For facilities with Commercial Generation date (i.e. facilities that “go online”) prior to 12/31/16: evidence of financial security due at 15th year of operation. 

For facilities with Commercial Generation date after 12/31/16: evidence of financial security due at 5th year of operation. 

An estimate of total cost to decommission prepared by an Oklahoma-licensed professional engineer, must be included with evidence of financial security. 

The amount of evidence of financial security shall be 125% of engineer’s estimate is due to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

If ownership of the wind facility is transferred, the evidence of financial security of the initial owner must remain in place until new owner submits a complying evidence of financial security.

OCC Rules on Decommissioning 165:35-45-7:

The wind energy facility owner must provide notice to OCC Public Utility Director of decommissioning not less than 60 days prior to commencement.