Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

The Journal Record Business Briefs: July 29, 2010

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

The Journal Record Business Briefs: July 29, 2010

Article excerpt

OCU, UCO ranked among 'Great Colleges to Work For'

Oklahoma City University and the University of Central Oklahoma were included in the Chronicle of Higher Education's "2010 Great Colleges to Work For" report.

The university was on the list for the third consecutive year.

Oklahoma City University earned honors in 11 workplace categories, including collaborative governance, confidence in senior leadership, diversity, work/life balance, teaching environment and job satisfaction and support.

"The extraordinarily high level of morale and mutual respect among all of our faculty, staff and administration enhances our ability to provide the highest-quality education for our students," said OCU President Robert Henry.

University of Central Oklahoma ranked high in teaching environment and tenure clarity and process categories.

According to the survey, UCO employees said the school in Edmond has a rewarding teaching environment that fosters close relationships between faculty members and students, and the faculty- created tenure system was designed to maximize the chances of granting tenure.

"We use the phrase 'Live Central' to describe what a special environment we have created here on campus and in the community," said W. Roger Webb, UCO president. "Our success is a direct result of our faculty and staff's decision to 'Live Central' each day."

New vehicle sales increase in OKC area

Sales of new cars and trucks in the Oklahoma City area by members of the Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association increased 15.1 percent in June from June 2009.

New vehicle sales for the month totaled 3,760 units, up from 3,267 a year earlier, according to a report from the association. Sales in June were down 1.3 percent from May.

Sales by Oklahoma City-area dealers for the month included 1,761 new cars, up 9 percent from 1,615 for June 2009. Dealers sold 1,999 new trucks in June, up 21 percent from 1,652 a year earlier.

Used car and truck sales by members of the association in June totaled 3,911 vehicles, up 11.3 percent from 3,513 a year earlier.

OG&E's 'Crossroads' wind farm gains regulatory approval

OG&E announced on Thursday that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission approved a settlement agreement reached by all the parties to the company's application to build and operate a new wind farm in northwestern Oklahoma.

Known as "Crossroads," the wind farm is expected to come online in the second half of 2011.

"This is a good outcome resulting from collaboration of the various parties interested in the expansion of renewable energy in Oklahoma," said Jesse Langston, vice president of utility commercial operations for OG&E. "We reached unanimous agreement with customer and shareholder groups, state agencies and regulatory officials, which culminated in today's 3-0 commission vote to approve the Crossroads project."

Crossroads, to be built in Dewey County near Canton, will add at least 198 megawatts of renewable generation. Pending the results of a Southwest Power Pool regional transmission study, Thursday's commission order allows for Crossroads to be constructed with up to 227 megawatts of generating capacity. Average residential customers could see an increase in their monthly bills of somewhere between 59 and 65 cents per month when Crossroads is in full production in 2012. Beginning in 2013 or 2014, the lower-cost energy produced by Crossroads is expected to result in a net decrease in average monthly residential electric bills and to reduce customer bills each year the wind farm is in operation.

The new wind farm, to be constructed by Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES Americas), will have at least 86 Siemens turbines rated at 2.3 megawatts each and will connect with OG&E's new Windspeed transmission line to Oklahoma City, which was energized earlier this year. …

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