OMPA Adds Wind Power

The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority officially added 40 more megawatts of wind energy to its resource portfolio on Jan. 1.

The new wind generation is the product of a power purchase agreement to acquire energy from the Grant Plains Wind Farm in northern Oklahoma. The farm was constructed in 2016 by Apex Clean Energy and includes 64 Siemens turbines in Grant County with an overall capacity of 147 megawatts.

The addition of more wind to OMPA’s resource mix comes as it finishes 2019 with a record-high percentage of its power supply portfolio coming from renewable energy. Through November, the Authority had received 26 percent of its overall power from renewable sources. That is nearly twice as high a percentage as it was just three years ago.

OMPA had already been receiving power from two of the state’s wind farms – the Oklahoma Wind Energy Center near Woodward, and the Canadian Hills wind farm near El Reno. It also owns and operates the Kaw Hydroelectric Plant at Kaw Lake outside Ponca City, and has a power purchase agreement with a landfill-to-gas project in Sand Springs.

OMPA expects its renewable portfolio to continue to grow beyond 2020, as it also recently issued a request-for-proposal with plans to enter into an agreement to purchase solar power. This would be the organization’s first solar project.

The Authority’s leading source of energy in 2019 was clean-burning natural gas, at 46 percent of the overall mix.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, in September of 2019, Oklahoma ranked third in the United States for wind energy production at 8,072 megawatts of installed capacity, just trailing Iowa. Texas ranks No. 1.