OU Leader Among Universities Purchasing Renewable Energy
OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Marking one of the largest renewable energy commitments ever by a public university, the University of Oklahoma will achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2013 with the signing today of a wind power agreement with Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company.
OU will rank among the nation’s top renewable-energy-purchasing universities in the country to commit to 100 percent renewable energy.
“OU is proud to become a national role model for responsible stewardship of the environment,” said OU President David L. Boren. “It is fitting — given the history of our state — that the university should play a pioneering role.”
The agreement was signed by Boren and OG&E CEO Pete Delaney before an audience of students and officials in the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
OU is achieving the environmental benefits associated with wind energy by supporting development of a new 100 Megawatt wind farm to be constructed by OG&E near Woodward, Okla. OU also received naming rights for the wind farm, and has decided to call it “OU Spirit.”
Nearly a decade ago, OU researchers had the foresight to create the Oklahoma Wind Power Initiative. Today, with appropriate investment in research and job training, wind energy has the potential to create thousands of new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars a year in property tax revenues in Oklahoma.
“At OG&E, we share OU’s long-term commitment to developing Oklahoma’s resources,” said Pete Delaney, OG&E’s president, chairman and CEO. “Working with state officials and public and private partners, we will make Oklahoma a national leader in renewable energy for the benefit of all of our customers.”
The wind farm will provide increasing amounts of renewable energy to OU’s Norman campus beginning with wind power from OG&E’s existing wind farms in 2008 and expanding with wind power from the new facility when it begins production in 2010.
To further support OU’s commitment, OG&E will establish internships and scholarships for OU students whose studies are focused on renewable energy as well as support campus events focusing on renewable energy.
The agreement with OG&E further establishes OU as a national leader in renewable energy as well as in the development of policies to promote sustainable energy. OU was an inaugural member of the Chicago Climate Exchange. Via its participation in the Exchange, as OU reduces its carbon dioxide emissions through its purchase of wind power, the university will earn Renewable Energy Credits that may be retired to reduce emissions or marketed through the Exchange.
Today, OG&E’s system features wind energy from the Sooner Wind Farm near Woodward, which went into service in 2003, and its Centennial Wind Farm near Ft. Supply, which was commissioned in 2007.
The agreement between OG&E and OU is subject to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission giving approval to OG&E to recover costs associated with building the planned wind farm and a new transmission line under development between Woodward and Oklahoma City.
OG&E, a regulated electric utility with more than 765,000 customers in a service area spanning 30,000 square miles in Oklahoma and western Arkansas, is a subsidiary of Oklahoma City-based OGE Energy Corp. , which also is the parent of Enogex LLC, a midstream natural gas pipeline business with principal operations in Oklahoma.
OGE Energy Corp.
CONTACT: Brian Alford of OGE Energy Corp., +1-405-553-3187
Web site: http://www.oge.com/