wind energy

The Chisholm View wind farm near Hunter, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

U.S. Sen. James Lankford is introducing a bill to remove an expired wind energy incentive from the federal tax code.

The federal Production Tax Credit for wind energy expired in December 2014, but since it’s part of the tax code, lawmakers can extend it by bundling it with legislation to extend other tax credits and incentives. That has happened as recently as July, when a Senate committee voted to extend the PTC as part of a $95 billion bundle of incentives.

Our electricity system is changing rapidly around us. New sources of renewable power are meeting technologies that can crunch unprecedented amounts of data. It’s all leading to a major shakeup for how utilities do business. Dan Boyce from Here & Now’s contributor Inside Energy takes us to Fort Collins, Colorado, for a peek into our utility’s possible future.

Texas Wind Power Subsidies In Jeopardy

Jun 25, 2015

Texas leads the United States in the production of wind power, largely in thanks to a state mandate that utilities source a certain amount of electricity from renewables.

Wind power provides 10 percent of the Lone Star State’s energy. The industry uses a combination of private investment for production and government subsidies for transmission lines.

But there’s a movement to repeal state subsidies for wind power. Reporter Lorne Matalon of Marfa Public Radio reports.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Senate has given unanimous approval to a pair of bills that will end two separate tax subsidies for the wind industry inOklahoma.

With no debate, the Senate on Friday approved one bill to eliminate a 5-year property tax exemption for wind manufacturers, starting in 2017. Because the state reimburses counties for the revenue lost from the exemption, the cost of the subsidy has skyrocketed with the expansion of wind farms in Oklahoma. It's expected to cost the state about $44 million in the current fiscal year.

The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

Oklahoma State Capitol
Joseph Novak / Flickr

There’s only about a month left in Oklahoma’s 2015 legislative session, and if bills haven’t made it out of the chamber they started in by now, they’re dead.

Bob Kerr on his ranch near Carnegie, Okla., which is flanked by turbines from the Blue Canyon Wind Farm.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lawmakers have filed several measures targeting Oklahoma’s wind industry during the 2015 legislative session. The bills most likely to end up on the governor’s desk add regulation — like preventing new wind farms from being built near hospitals, schools and airports — and reduce wind energy tax credits.

Bob Kerr has lived on his Caddo County ranch for 43 years. The nearest tow, Carnegie, is home to about 1,700 people — a sprawling metropolis in southwestern Oklahoma

mtneer_man / Flickr

Legislation adding siting restrictions and reporting requirements to new wind energy developments passed a House committee Tuesday.

Senate Bill 808 is now the primary wind regulation bill for the 2015 legislative session, replacing the similarly worded House Bill 1549, Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, tells The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies:

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Measures that would modify tax incentives for future wind farms in Oklahoma have been approved by the state Senate.

The Senate passed two measures by Republican Sen. Mike Mazzei of Tulsa in separate 45-0 votes Tuesday and sent them to the House for consideration.

State budget officials have said generous tax incentives, credits and deductions granted over the years to stimulate business and industry in the state are one reason Oklahoma is facing a $611 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

A wind farm in Ellis County in western Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A bill that would reduce the amount of tax subsidies paid to wind producers in Oklahoma has been unanimously approved by the House of Representatives.

The House voted 89-0 on Monday for the bill by Bartlesville Republican Rep. Earl Sears. It now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

A wind farm in Ellis County in western Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

With wind energy production in full swing in Oklahoma, legislative leaders are looking to impose some new restrictions on the booming industry.

The Senate Energy Committee approved a bill Thursday by Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman to require planning for when wind farms are decommissioned and minimum distances from places like schools or airports. The bill also requires wind developers to provide certain public notice before the giant turbines can be erected.