Two 5MW projects help fulfill tribal needs; provide all customers opportunity to add solar

photovoltaic-2814504_640

OG&E to build new solar projects with Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes. (Credit: Pixabay/torstensimon.)

Oklahoma Gas and Electric, a subsidiary of Oklahoma City-based OGE Energy, announced today that it will expand its renewable energy portfolio with the construction of two, 5-megawatt (MW) universal solar energy centers in southeast Oklahoma. The company-owned projects will help meet the renewable energy needs of the Chickasaw Nation and Choctaw Nation.

Both tribes will purchase approximately 50 percent of each farm’s solar energy output through OG&E’s solar tariff. The Chickasaw Nation – OG&E Solar Energy Center will be built in Davis, Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation – OG&E Solar Energy Center will be built in Durant, Oklahoma. OG&E will construct, own and operate both centers, which are expected to come online in August.

In 2015, OG&E became the first utility in Oklahoma to offer universal solar energy to customers with the construction of its first solar installation at Mustang Energy Center located in Mustang, Oklahoma. Universal solar provides customers the opportunity to add solar energy to their personal energy portfolios without paying for expensive rooftop solar panels. In 2018, the company added approximately 10 MWs of universal solar energy from a solar energy center built near Covington, Oklahoma. With the addition of the two new solar facilities, OG&E’s total solar energy capacity will be approximately 22.5 MWs, which is enough to power nearly 3,700 homes.

Quotes from Sean Trauschke, OGE Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO:
“We’re pleased to collaborate with these two great tribes to meet their renewable energy needs while growing the availability of universal solar energy on our system,” said OGE Energy Chairman, President and CEO Sean Trauschke. “In addition to serving tribal needs, these projects will offer the benefits of solar energy to all customers through our subscription-based program.”

“OG&E is among utility industry leaders in reducing its environmental footprint,” Trauschke said. “We’ve lowered Sulphur dioxide emissions by more than 90 percent. We’ve lowered nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 75 percent, and we’ve lowered carbon dioxide emissions by more than 40 percent; all while keeping rates essentially flat since 2011, which demonstrates our commitment to delivering safe, reliable and affordable energy in an environmentally responsible way.”

QUOTE(S) FROM CHICKASAW NATION GOV. BILL ANOATUBBY
“We are pleased to work with OG&E on this innovative renewable energy project,” said Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. “This collaboration highlights the importance of working together to help sustain both a strong economy and a thriving natural environment for generations to come.”

QUOTE(S) FROM CHOCTAW NATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RONALD ABNEY
“The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma takes pride in being good stewards of the resources we are blessed with in Southeastern Oklahoma. Our partnership with OG&E to utilize a renewable energy source such as Solar Energy furthers the Nation’s commitment to responsibly use these resources while protecting our environment,” stated Executive Director Ronald Abney. “We are proud to lead the way in bringing commercial solar energy to our facilities in Durant and to other accounts within the OG&E service area. With facilities located throughout the 10.5 counties in SE Oklahoma, the Choctaw Nation is committed to the efficient use of energy. Several teams within the CNO are committed to managing our energy consumption as well as our total energy cost. This solar farm partnership addresses both the environmentally responsible use of energy as well as provides an economic hedge to uncertain energy prices in the future.”

Source: Company Press Release