Less than 24 hours after Governor Mary Fallin signed legislation ending the zero-emissions tax credit for the wind industry three years early, a power company with more than 100 renewable energy power plants across 23 states announced Tuesday it has begun construction on a new 61,000-acre wind farm project in central Oklahoma valued at more than $420 million.
“The development of the Red Dirt wind farm has been a multiyear process and Enel Green Power North America put in place and secured agreements with certain assumptions,” said Enel, in a statement. “Additionally, the company has already invested a great deal of resources and planning in the development of this wind facility. While we considered not going forward with the Red Dirt project, we are a company that honors its business and financial commitments, and therefore we are proceeding with construction.”
Marking its ninth project in Oklahoma, Enel Green Power North America Inc. is building the wind farm in Kingfisher and Logan counties, according to The Oklahoman. The company will operate the new facility as Red Dirt Wind Project, LLC, an EGPNA subsidiary.
The Red Dirt project is Enel’s largest venture to date in Oklahoma. The company will employ 600 during construction and hire an additional 12 fulltime workers when fully operational.
The wind farm is expected to be operational by the end of the year. It will have 95 turbines and sell electricity to the Grand River Dam Authority and T-Mobile under long-term contracts, according to The Oklahoman.
“We are proud to continue our investment in Oklahoma and its communities and to do so with T-Mobile, a new corporate partner who shares our commitment to sustainability and community,” said Rafael Gonzalez, head of Enel Green Power North America. “Red Dirt has been under development for several years and promises to be a project that will deliver millions in new revenue to support local services, education and drive economic stimulus in the region.”
Since entering the Oklahoma wind market in 2012, EGPNA has experienced a meteoric rise in capacity from 150 megawatts to nearly 1,500 megawatts.
EGPNA’s other eight projects in Oklahoma include:
- Rocky Ridge in Kiowa and Washita Counties
- Chisholm View I in Grant and Garfield Counties
- Chisholm View II in Grant and Garfield Counties
- Origin in Murray, Carter and Garvin Counties
- Osage Wind in Osage County
- Goodwell in Texas County
- Little Elk in Kiowa and Washita Counties
- Drift Sand in Grady County