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Oklahoma utility calls for bids for 50 MW of wind power

Investor owned Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E), Oklahoma's largest retail utility, is asking for bids for supply of 50 MW of wind power that OG&E plans to use solely for a retail wind power program. The utility released the solicitation in early February and is asking for proposals by March 11. In a state listed as eighth in potential US wind resources by the American Wind Energy Association and with as much as 500 MW in some stage of development, including a 64 MW project by Zilkha Renewable Energy (page 58), it's likely the utility will get more proposals than it needs. OG&E decided to buy the wind resources after a recent poll of customers found that many would pay a premium for wind generated electricity as a way to offset the utility's 6000 MW of coal and gas generation, says the utility's Christina Dukeman. The green program will sell blocks of wind energy, but the utility has yet to determine the size or price of those blocks. Dukeman says OG&E hopes to choose a developer by April or May and wants the project to begin producing megawatts by Autumn 2004, but the timeline assumes the Oklahoma Corporation Commission will approve the application immediately.

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