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wind farms

The Chisholm View wind farm near Hunter, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

On the latest Business Intelligence Report, Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses what happens when wind turbines reach the end of their lifespan and the potential economic and environmental challenges associated with decommissioning them.

NextEra Energy Cancels Plans For Two Wind Power Projects

May 29, 2019
Wind turbines in western Kingfisher County.
Journal Record

NextEra Energy Resources has withdrawn plans to construct two wind farms in western Oklahoma. The decision follows Governor Kevin Stitt signing a law that ensures wind turbine construction doesn't interfere with low-level military training routes.

An aerial view of the Blue Canyon Wind Farm in southwestern Oklahoma.
Google Earth

Oklahoma ranks No. 2 in the nation for installed wind power capacity, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association.

This electricity — enough, the association estimates, to power the equivalent of 2.3 million homes — is generated by 3,736 wind turbines operating in Oklahoma, a public dataset compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey, AWEA and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Dewey County Courthouse is one of the newest in Oklahoma. The offices are spacious, and the courtroom has fresh carpet and shiny wood trim. County Commissioner M.W. “Junior” Salisbury is excited to play tour leader.

“I’m pretty proud of our little courthouse here,” he says. “I really, really am.”

Officials figured they would need 25 years to pay it off, but it took less than five. One major reason: wind farms.

Trainees in the control tower at Altus Air Force Base watch as a C-17 cargo plane taxis to the runway.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Developers recently announced plans to build the country’s largest wind farm in Oklahoma’s Panhandle. The industry is growing and turbine projects are expanding across the state. But wind energy developers are facing a new headwind: military air bases.