Northwest Oklahoma will soon see 90 additional wind turbines on the horizon. NextEra Energy is building the 250-megawatt Skeleton Creek wind farm in parts of Garfield and Alfalfa counties and plans to be online by the end of 2019.
Elinore Beitler, a project manager with NextEra Energy, said the wind farm will generate between $50 million and $60 million in property taxes and give about $60 million in landowner payments during the first 30 years of the project.
NextEra Energy operates two other wind projects in Garfield County, the 247.4 MW Armadillo Flats wind project and the 98.1 MW Breckinridge Wind Energy Center. NextEra Energy spokesman Bryan Garner said there are 15 existing operational wind projects in Oklahoma, along with a transmission line and other projects in development.
“Wind energy is a point of pride for Oklahoma. Oklahoma has one of the best wind resources in the entire country and to be able to harvest the wind to the economic benefit of these communities is a great point of pride, and you’re seeing it all across the state,” Garner said. “Communities are able to invest in improvements in their communities they otherwise couldn’t invest in.”
As the end of the first quarter 2019, Oklahoma ranked third in the country for installed wind capacity and second in the country for wind capacity factors, according to AWEA.
“I would simply say we’re really excited to do business in Oklahoma. We’ve invested more than $4.5 billion in the state and this is another great example of an investment we’re making in Garfield County,” Garner said. “The landowners we’ve talked to are really excited about it and we look forward to talking with them later this month about the project and hopefully build this year to benefit of (the) community.”