Tyranny of the Naysayers: Oklahoma Wind Power Development Slows

Authors: Stephen J. Stadler*, Oklahoma State University, J. Scott Greene, University of Oklahoma
Topics: Energy, Environmental Perception
Keywords: wind resources, Oklahoma, wind industry, NIMBY, economic benefits
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

With the 2nd highest installed total of any state, more than 8,000 jobs created, and over one-third of the state’s electrical energy production, wind power is an unqualified success in Oklahoma. There are no technical issues as to why Oklahoma cannot more fully develop its huge wind resources; however, there have been important instances of extreme anti-wind sentiment across the state through legislation, lawsuits, and public disinformation. This poster shows the geography of the wind resource, population and land use patterns, utility-scale wind turbine locations, the current status of Oklahoma’s wind industry, and the economic benefits to the state. This poster also highlights some of the current obstacles and objections to wind energy across the state. Interestingly, the voices against development are not generally co-located with the wind farms and thus this is not a NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) situation. Despite the discontinuance of all state and federal tax abatements for wind, and because of the massive wind resource of western Oklahoma, the increased efficiencies in turbines, and the electrical demand from outside, the state should keep the turbine capacity growing. The current Oklahoma situation is not as promising as it was, but the volume of wind projects waiting in the regional Southwest Power Pool queue bespeaks important development to come.

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