Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Officials of Redbud Energy Power Plant in Luther Question Need for Red Rock Plant

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Officials of Redbud Energy Power Plant in Luther Question Need for Red Rock Plant

Article excerpt

The owners of the Redbud Energy power plant in Luther are quite proud of their facility. They question why anybody would want to build a new 950-megawatt coal-fired plant in Oklahoma when Redbud, a 1,200-megawatt, natural gas-fired power plant, is already up and running and looking for business. The state's two largest electricity utility companies, Oklahoma City-based Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. (OG&E) and Tulsa-based Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), have teamed up on a proposal to build a new coal- fired facility in Noble County known as Red Rock.

Redbud officials stressed the environmental benefits of their combined-cycle power plant, which uses both natural gas and steam to create electricity, on Thursday as they conducted a special tour of the facility. Opened in 2004, the Redbud facility was planned and created as an independent power producer at a time when it appeared the electricity market in Oklahoma would be deregulated - a circumstance that has never come to pass, making it somewhat more difficult than originally anticipated for the plant to get its power to market.

Today, the company has made significant strides in its efforts to sell its power, but Redbud attorneys have spent several hours at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission over the last few years in proceedings to encourage OG&E, the utility that controls the territory the Redbud plant is located within, to buy more power from Redbud and improve the transmission system to would allow Redbud to put more power on the grid.

OG&E officials said the company buys power from Redbud when it makes good economic sense to do so. The utility has a vested interest in getting as much power as possible from the plants it owns and operates. The Red Rock proposal would have PSO build more than 60 miles of transmission to make use power of a plant that is to be constructed way outside the utility's territory.

Redbud had submitted proposals to PSO in response to the utility's request for proposals for additional capacity, but Redbud's submissions were disqualified because the company did not meet PSO's credit requirements, it was brought out during the proceedings before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. …

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