NEW YORK, Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- OwnEnergy, the leader in Community Wind announced today that it has closed a transaction in Kay County, OK where NextEra Energy Resources will acquire, construct and operate the Blackwell Wind Farm. Blackwell is a project that OwnEnergy has been developing from inception alongside its local landowner partners.
The 60 megawatt project is expected to be constructed by the end of 2012. The clean, renewable energy produced by the wind farm will be sold under a long term contract to Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E). OG&E will use the output from the project to supply Oklahoma State University with clean energy. The Blackwell project is strategically located just up the road from the Stillwater campus. It will provide up to 150 jobs during construction, and approximately three full-time jobs to operate the facility, as well as enhanced economic development for the region due to its Community Wind nature.
The Blackwell Wind Farm was initiated three years ago as a Community Wind farm by a local landowner in the Blackwell area, David Savage, who partnered with OwnEnergy and other local investors. David had held an interest in renewable energy for some time when he met OwnEnergy in 2008 at the annual WindPower conference in Houston, TX. There David learned about the company's focus on Community Wind, where ownership is retained in the community and profits are recycled, creating incremental jobs, wages, business income and local pride. "This wind project will have a significant economic impact on the Blackwell community and I am very pleased to have had a hand in making it happen," said Savage.
OG&E and OSU recently announced an agreement to provide wind power to the Stillwater campus. If approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the 20-year agreement will provide wind power for the university's existing load as well as meet the needs of OSU's future expansion. The new wind agreement will provide the university cost savings over the contract term. The savings include retiring the university's existing cogeneration facility and eliminating the need to invest future capital in additional cogeneration facilities to keep up with growing energy demand.
Burns Hargis, president of Oklahoma State University said, "The signing of this agreement with OG&E is part of our overarching sustainability initiative aimed at saving money, reducing carbon emissions and improving efficiency." Blackwell's unique location in north central Oklahoma is advantageous for both OG&E and OSU in that in combines a strong wind resource with an existing transmission grid. "The Blackwell location works well for us in terms of providing the necessary support to execute this agreement with OSU," said Wayne Walker, Director of Business Development for OG&E. "We've been very pleased with the partnership between OG&E and OwnEnergy and look forward to the completion of the wind farm and the start of the program with OSU," he said.
Own Energy will receive a royalty payment from the project throughout its life. Jacob Susman, Founder and CEO of OwnEnergy, said, "This is an exciting opportunity for all the parties involved, including OwnEnergy, our local Blackwell partners and investors, OG&E, and Oklahoma State University."
OwnEnergy, Inc. is a Community Wind developer of mid-sized, utility scale wind projects that enable landowners and communities to build and profit directly from their own local wind farms. The company works in partnership with its nationwide network of energy entrepreneurs to develop the approximately 30 community wind farms in its 1,500MW pipeline. OwnEnergy has a breakthrough business model for the profitable and capital-efficient development of these mid-size wind farms that involves a community ownership model and proprietary development systems. The company is based in Brooklyn, New York and is active in sixteen US states. For more information about OwnEnergy visit www.ownenergy.net.
SOURCE OwnEnergy, Inc.