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Governor Fallin, Oklahoma State, OG&E celebrate Cowboy Wind Farm, wind energy for Stillwater campus
Fri, February 15, 2013
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin along with Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis and OGE Energy Corp. Chairman, CEO and President Pete Delaney “flipped the switch” today to celebrate the use of wind energy as the main source of electricity for the OSU-Stillwater campus.
Cowboy Wind Farm, near Blackwell, Okla., generates the wind energy. The 26-turbine wind farm was completed in December of 2012 and began generating electricity for the campus on Jan. 1.
“Oklahoma’s wind resources are among the best in the world,” said Governor Fallin. “I’m proud that Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma Gas & Electric, one of the state’s oldest energy companies, are working to harness the potential of more homegrown wind energy. Investments in Oklahoma resources, such as wind and natural gas, help grow our state’s economy by keeping Oklahoma dollars in state while delivering the same value to consumers.”
The wind farm is the result of a 20-year agreement between OSU and OG&E signed in December 2011. OG&E contracted with NextEra Energy to build a 60-megawatt wind farm near Blackwell to support the OSU project.
“OG&E commends Oklahoma State University’s commitment to sustainability, and we are pleased to partner with the University to provide clean, renewable energy to the Stillwater campus,” said Delaney.
OG&E has total wind capacity totaling 840 megawatts, which is approximately 12 percent of the company’s total electric generation. In addition to its partnership with OSU in the Cowboy Wind Farm, OG&E also supports the university by offering scholarships to students who are pursuing renewable energy related degrees.
With the start-up of the Cowboy Wind Farm, the OSU-Stillwater campus now receives 67 percent of its electricity from wind generation. Natural gas helps supply the remaining power.
“The Cowboy Wind Farm is just another way OSU is showing its commitment to use our natural resources wisely and efficiently,” said OSU’s Hargis. “As a land-grant university, we have an historic responsibility to lead the way in the areas of sustainability. Natural gas and wind are two abundant natural resources in Oklahoma, and using them together to generate power for our Stillwater campus enables us to achieve a higher level of environmental stewardship while also supporting Oklahoma’s all-important energy driven economy.”
The university has converted all its transit/community buses to compressed natural gas (CNG) and added 90 CNG vehicles to its fleet.
OSU has paved the way for sustainability and conservation efforts across the state. Since July of 2007, OSU has saved more than $22 million system wide through energy conservation efforts. In fact, this energy conservation program has served as a model for the efforts that have been initiated by Governor Fallin across state government.
OG&E is a subsidiary of Oklahoma-based OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE) service more than 789,000 electric customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas.