Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Acciona Energy North America Opens Oklahoma Wind Farm, Plans for Two More

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Acciona Energy North America Opens Oklahoma Wind Farm, Plans for Two More

Article excerpt

On Saturday, Acciona Energy North America will mark the completion of the Red Hills Wind Farm in Roger Mills and Custer counties with a dedication ceremony.

While the wind farm spread over 5,000 acres in the Elk City area is the first project developed in Oklahoma by the unit of Acciona Energy of Spain, the company already has two other wind farms in development in Roger Mills and Custer counties, said Tom Hiester, vice president of development for the central region for Acciona.

Red Hills Wind Farm will use 82 Acciona Windpower 1.5-megawatt wind turbines to produce 123 megawatts of power dedicated to Anadarko-based Western Farmers Electric Cooperative for 20 years. The project cost was $250 million, Hiester said.

Most of the 82 wind turbines at Red Hills were manufactured at Acciona's assembly plant in West Branch, Iowa. The plant opened just over a year ago.

The two wind farms Acciona is developing in western Oklahoma - Dempsey Ridge and Wind Farms 66 - are each expected to produce 100 megawatts to 200 megawatts of power, he said. Capacity will depend on demand from utilities.

"The Dempsey Ridge project is pretty far advanced," Hiester said. "We have most of the real estate transactions completed."

Acciona is in the land acquisition process for the Wind Farms 66 project.

Acciona has hired 15 employees to operate the Red Hills Wind Farm. An additional 200 people were employed during the construction process, which began in May 2008. With the 20-year agreement to sell power to Western Farmers, the jobs have long-term potential.

"People like these jobs because they will be here for a long time," he said.

The economic impact for Roger Mills and Custer counties from the wind farm extends beyond the 15 jobs, Hiester said.

Acciona has long-term lease agreements with 12 landowners and land trusts for Red Hills. The Red Hills Wind farm will produce tax revenue for the two counties through investment in local infrastructure, lease agreements and property taxes. …

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