The Grand River Dam Authority has signed power-purchase agreements to get electricity from two new wind farms being developed in northern Oklahoma, developer TradeWind Energy Inc. announced Tuesday.
GRDA’s board approved 20-year agreements with TradeWind to draw power from the 136-megawatt Mustang Run project in Osage County and the 98-megawatt Breckinridge project near Enid.
The deal helps GRDA in its quest to have a well-balanced portfolio of generation sources, CEO Dan Sullivan said.
“The addition of these wind projects will help bring the diversity we need,” Sullivan said. “The fuel options we will have in the future will continue to serve our customers well with reliability and affordability.”
TradeWind, a Kansas-based wind and solar developer, said the projects will pay about $50 million to area landowners, while generating more than $30 million in property taxes over the next 20 years.
The wind farms also will create about 20 full-time jobs once they are in operation.
Bill stirs uncertainty
The Osage County project could be affected by a pending Senate bill that would halt any wind projects on the east side of the state.
TradeWind officials will be among wind advocates rallying against the bill Wednesday at the Capitol, a company spokesman said.
He acknowledged Senate Bill 1440, as originally written, has created some uncertainty for the Mustang Run project, but a TradeWind official praised the state’s dedication to wind energy in a news release.
“Oklahoma has an outstanding natural resource in wind, but what sets it apart for development is the state’s commitment to encouraging wind energy in a way that creates jobs and spurs investment in local communities,” said Sanjay Bhasin, TradeWind’s senior vice president for business development.
TradeWind has been working with landowners and community leaders in the counties where it is developing its latest wind projects.
In December, the company donated two buses to Shidler Public Schools in Osage County after an employee learned about the district’s aging bus fleet.
TradeWind already has built the Chisholm View wind project in Garfield and Grant counties, and Rocky Ridge in Washita and Kiowa counties. It also is developing projects in several others states from Texas to Michigan.