Oklahoma wind farm operators to face annual state fees

Wind farm operators in Oklahoma might have to start making a $2,000 annual payment to the state following the adoption of wind fee rules by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

The $2,000 fee is for each facility and will fund oversight responsibilities for the commission. But the wind farm operators will also be charged $5,000 whenever they submit notices of intentions to build a new project.

Oklahoma has 58 operating wind farms and the new fees will generate nearly $116,000 every year. The new fees will be paid by March 1 at the same time the wind farm operators provide the OCC with new data.

Brandy Wreath, director of the OCC’s Public Utility Division told commissioners the cost of regulating the wind industry is about $300,000 a year.

Before agreeing to the new fees, Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony said he wasn’t happy about the proposal, suggesting it could have an impact on future development in the industry.

“This agency used to be a regulatory agency. It has been turned into—thank you Legislature, and some other people–a collection and payment operation. I didn’t sign up for that ritual,” he said in addressing those on hand for the hearing.

The Commission’s decision still must be approved by the governor and the legislature.

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