Oklahoma’s Economy Benefits from Clean Energy

Oklahoma has a strong tradition as a leader in the national energy economy and, by working together, Oklahomans can maintain that advantage.  Low-cost, clean energy is a priority for residential and business customers.  In 2018, more than 90% of energy serving PSO customers came from natural gas and renewable resources. By developing Oklahoma’s abundant clean energy resources, we position our state for long-term economic success.

Large-scale wind development, in particular, is good for the state and local economy. It adds to the tax base and attracts new employers, developing much-needed revenue streams for schools and local government, especially in rural areas.  Lease payments and salaries for construction and long-term jobs are often reinvested into the community, revitalizing rural areas.

Large-scale renewables provide many benefits to the modern grid. Placing renewable resources on the grid strategically can mitigate or delay congestion issues created when too much generation tries to flow through the same transmission or distribution circuits. Likewise, large-scale renewables can provide ancillary services to the grid. These essential reliability services are necessary to support the transmission of capacity and energy from resources to customers while maintaining reliable operation of the transmission system.[1] 

The cost of large-scale renewables is lower on a per-megawatt basis than distributed generation resources. Because it can be factored into the overall fuel mix as needed by the local utility or by the regional system operator, its efficiency is maximized.  Lazard’s latest annual Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE 12.0)[2] shows a continued decline in the cost of generating electricity from alternative energy technologies, especially large-scale solar and wind. In some scenarios, alternative energy costs have decreased to the point that they are now at or below the marginal cost of conventional generation.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma uses a diverse mix of resources to provide reliable, affordable electricity to customers while transitioning to a cleaner generation portfolio. PSO’s strategy includes adding new renewable and natural gas generation, building a smarter energy system, and providing customers with new energy technologies. Large-scale renewables are monitored and dispatched as part of the broader energy system allowing for continued grid reliability. Natural gas generation provides capacity customers can count on around the clock regardless of the weather.  These diverse energy resources help deliver reliable electricity at some of the lowest prices in the nation.

Investments in the technology-driven, digital economy are not going away; in fact, they continue to grow year after year. Large companies, including those in technology, assess the long-term carbon footprint of each capital investment they make, a decision driven by both economic competitiveness and environmental stewardship. Oklahoma can position itself to attract other companies to invest in the state’s economy by supporting large scale renewable and natural gas generation investments.

[1] https://www.spp.org/glossary/

[2] https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-and-levelized-cost-of-storage-2018/