Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Wind Power Grows, but Transmission Capacity Lags Behind

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Wind Power Grows, but Transmission Capacity Lags Behind

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - The wind energy industry grew 56 percent in 2015, and turbine farms are expected to grow more in 2016. But there may not be enough infrastructure to get wind-generated electrons to market.

The Wind Coalition Executive Director Jeff Clark said turbine farms are built faster than the transmission lines to connect them to the grid. That infrastructure problem presents a long-term challenge for the entire Plains region, he said.

In 2015 the Woodward area saw more congestion than any other state in the Southwest Power Pool's central U.S. territory. The regional transmission organization manages the electrical grid in 14 states. SPP Engineering Vice President Lanny Nickell said his organization expects there will be more congestion in the future.

University of Central Oklahoma energy economics professor Travis Roach said growth could be hampered in Oklahoma's Panhandle if more transmission isn't added there. Utilities typically sign decades- long power-purchase agreements with developers. But it would be difficult to fulfill those contracts without more lines to move the electricity, he said.

Nickell said SPP can encourage construction by spreading the cost for new generation to utilities across a region that benefits from electricity.

The Wind Coalition consultant and attorney Steve Gaw said the Woodward congestion issue is fairly specific to Oklahoma and doesn't prevent access to wind generation in general. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.