- Wind energy technologies harness the power of the wind by turning wind turbines to create electricity. Applications start on a small scale to power water pumps and grow to commercial size generation where one wind turbine can power over 200 homes.
- Oklahoma is home to the 8th best wind resource in the nation.
- As of mid-2012, Oklahoma is ranked 8th in the nation with total installed wind power capacity – 2171 MW over 19 wind farms.
- Oklahoma has the wind power resource potential to serve almost 10% of the nation’s electricity needs.
Wind Energy Leasing Handbook
This Wind Energy Leasing Handbook is the culmination of work performed by Dr. Shannon L. Ferrell from Oklahoma State University and Mr. Rusty Rumley with the University of Arkansas. Handbook funding was made possible by a grant from the USDA Risk Management Agency through the Southern Risk Management Education Center - Project RME-MD-303936.
This handbook provides landowner and other interested stakeholders an overview of wind energy and wind energy leasing.
- Solar energy technologies capture the energy from sunlight to produce electricity.
- Oklahoma is home to the 8th best solar resource in the nation
- Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert sunlight into electrical energy. The solar cells can be used to pump water in addition to providing power for lights, school zone signs, even entire homes.
- Concentrating Solar Power, or CSP, uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto areas that collect the energy and then convert that energy to heat. The resulting thermal energy can then be used to produce electricity by a steam turbine or another engine capable of turning a generator.
For more information:
American Solar Energy Society: www.ases.org
Solar Energy Industries Association: www.seia.org
U.S. Department of Energy: http://www.eere.energy.gov/basics/renewable_energy/solar.html
- Biomass is a form of energy production that can take a variety of forms. There can be liquid-based biofuels, biopower, as well as bio-based products. Biomass technologies break down the organic matter found in plants to release the stored energy from the sun.
- It is estimated that Oklahoma could generate 18.5 billion kwh of electricity using biomass fuels.
- Oklahoma is home to the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, a group researching achieveable commercial scale production of cellulosic ethanol from Oklahoma switchgrass. http://www.noble.org/research/biofuels/
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
One might be wondering how they can support renewable energy when they are unable to install a wind turbine or solar panels due to a plethora of reasons, such as; insufficient land to install a turbine; municipal restrictions that prevent the installation of a turbine; your roof isn’t built for optimal operation of solar panels; you live in an apartment; etc. However there is an easy, low cost way, for everyone purchasing electricity to show their support of renewable energy by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits from your electric provider is probably the single, most comprehensive thing a person can do to support Oklahoma’s renewable power industry.
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), also known as Green tags, or Renewable Energy Credits, are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities in the United States that represent proof that 1, 000 kilowatt hours( kWh) of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource. These sources can be solar or wind, however predominately in Oklahoma they are based on wind generation. Please click here to find out more about RECs from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Once in the grid, renewable energy is impossible to separate from conventionally generated energy. This makes purchasing of a REC equivalent to purchasing a claim that the REC owner consumed energy from the renewable energy generator. Hence if one purchases sufficient RECs to offset their electric usage, then the REC owner can claim that all of their electricity is generated from renewable resources and in the case of a wind REC they can claim all of the electricity they used was produced from emission free resources. The purchase of a REC does not affect how much renewable energy was made at a precise moment, but it does provide funding for the utility to enter into additional long term renewable energy purchase agreements.
Please consider joining the thousands of Oklahomans who have decided to support Oklahoma’s renewable energy, by purchasing RECs from your electric provider. By Purchasing RECs, you can be a renewable power advocate without having to place a wind turbine in your back yard or solar panels on your roof. For your convenience, we have listed a link below for several local electric and information on buying RECs from them.
Oklahoma offers a variety of incentives for renewable energy technologies. For a complete listing, including links to reference statues and legislation, please see the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) at : www.dsireusa.org
Oklahoma offers net metering for those energy systems up to 100kw in size, or 25,000 khw/year, whichever is less. Utilities are not allowed to impose extra charges for customers signed up for net metering, nor are they allowed to require new liability insurance as a condition for interconnection. Utilities are also not required to purchase net excess generation (NEG) from customers. However, a customer may request that the utility purchase NEG. If the utility agrees, then NEG will be purchased at the utility's avoided-cost rate. Systems must be installed and maintained in compliance with the National Electric Code (NEC). An external disconnect switch is required.
Eligible technologies include: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Municipal Solid Waste, CHP/Cogeneration, and Small Hydroelectric.
Learn about net metering or distributed generation options, especially if you have service from OG&E.
Energy Efficient Residential Construction Tax Credit
Oklahoma allows a contractor who is the primary builder of an energy efficient home or manufactured home substantially completed after December 31, 2005 to claim an income tax credit beginning in tax year 2006. The home must be under 2,000 square feet. Improvements eligible for the credit include: energy efficient heating and cooling systems, windows, doors, roofs and insulation to minimize heat loss and gain.
The contractor can take a tax credit for the amount of the eligible expenditures, not to exceed $2,000 for a home that is between 20% and 39% above the International Energy Conservation Code 2003 or $4,000 for a home that is 40% or above of the Code. In addition, the heating and cooling efficiencies must meet the minimum requirements established by the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 and building envelope improvements must account for a certain percentage of the reduced annual heating and cooling energy consumption levels.
The contractor can carry over any unused portion of the tax credit for up to four subsequent years. As the result of a 2006 amendment, credits earned after August 25, 2006 are freely transferable to any taxpayer upon the filing of a transfer agreement.
Zero Emission Facilities Production Tax Credit
For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2003, a state income tax credit is available to producers of electric power using renewable energy resources from a zero-emission facility located in Oklahoma. The zero-emission facility must have a rated production capacity of one megawatt (1 MW) or greater. (The initial legislation required a 50 MW minimum capacity, but HB 1174 of 2006 reduced the minimum to 1 MW.) The facility must be placed in operation after June 4, 2001, and the electricity must be sold to an unrelated party.
The amount of the credit varies depending on when the electricity is generated (see below) and may be claimed for electricity generated on or after January 1, 2003 during a 10-year period following the date that the facility is placed in operation after June 4, 2001.
Eligible renewable energy resources include wind, moving water, sun, and geothermal energy. The construction and operation of the zero-emission facility must result in no pollution or emissions that are or may be harmful to the environment, as determined by the Department of Environmental Quality.
- Facilities placed in operation on or after January 1, 2003 and before January 1, 2007:
For electricity generated on or after January 1, 2003, but prior to January 1, 2004, the amount of the credit is seventy-five one hundredths of one cent ($0.0075) for each kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. For electricity generated after January 1, 2004, but prior to January 1, 2007, the amount of the credit is $0.0050/kWh. For electricity generated after January 1, 2007, but prior to January 1, 2012, the amount of the credit is $0.0025/kWh.
- Facilities placed in operation on or after January 1, 2007 and before January 1, 2016:
For electricity generated by these zero-emission facilities, the amount of the credit is $0.0050/kWh.
The tax credit is freely transferable at any time during the ten years following the year of qualification. This includes transfers or sales from non-taxable entities to taxable entities and transfers or sales from one taxable entity to another. To claim this credit, applicants must complete Tax Form 511CR, Schedule for Other Credits.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing
Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing effectively allows property owners to borrow money to pay for energy improvements. The amount borrowed is typically repaid via a special assessment on the property over a period of years. Oklahoma has authorized county governments to establish such programs, as described below. (Not all local governments in Oklahoma offer PACE financing. Contact your local government to find out if it has established a PACE financing program.)
Oklahoma enacted legislation in April 2009 (S.B. 668) that authorized counties to create "County District Energy Authorities." The Authorities are authorized to issue notes/bonds, seek out public/private lenders, or apply for grants/loans from other governmental entities in order to establish and fund local PACE programs. Once a county has established the Authority and PACE program, county property owners, who are up-to-date on their property taxes, may enter into a contract with the county to receive a loan for permanently fixed renewable energy or energy efficiency improvements to their property. These loans are then repaid via the property taxes and they constitute a lien on the property until paid in full.
The legislation mandates that any resulting county loan program established must require participating property owners to undergo an energy audit (the cost of the audit may also be rolled into the financing received). The efficiency equipment must be energy star rated. Finally, the legislation also authorizes the County District Energy Authorities to establish a grant program for not-for-profit organizations that are property-tax exempt, although the Authorities are not required to do so. The remaining details of a county program are determined locally and will vary from county to county.
The Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) issued a statement in July 2010 concerning the senior lien status associated with most PACE programs. S.B. 102 amends the law to make PACE loans junior and inferior to other liens. Effective November 1, 2011, this law should allow local governments to adopt PACE programs that are within the acceptable parameters established by the FHFA.
Avoided Emissions and Generation Tool (AVERT)
AVERT is a free tool with a simple user interface designed to meet the needs of state air quality planners and other interested stakeholders. Non-experts can easily use AVERT to evaluate county-level emissions displaced at electric power plants by EE/RE policies and programs. AVERT is designed to use public data, which is accessible and auditable.