The current population of the “Sooner State,” Oklahoma is approximately 3.95 million people. In February 2020, state utilities used natural gas (56.7%), renewable energy (42.4%), and coal (0.9%) to generate electricity. Wind, hydropower and solar are the primary sources of renewable energy in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma’s reliance on renewable energy and natural gas contributes to the state’s low electricity prices. In February 2020, the average cost of electricity in Oklahoma was U.S. 9.3 ¢ per kWh, which is the 3rd cheapest state in the United States. The average price of electricity in the United States in February 2020 was 12.8 ¢ per kWh.
Oklahoma is one of only 20 states that does not have a renewable energy standard, that mandates that utilities use a designated amount of renewable energy to generate electricity. However, the economics of low-cost renewable energy have spurred Oklahoma utilities to move from expensive coal to renewable energy.
American Electric Power (AEP) has received regulatory approval to build the North Central wind project, which will provide power to utilities in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The wind project will consist of three separate wind farms, all located in Oklahoma. The North Central wind project is scheduled to be completed in 2021 at a cost of U.S. $2.0 Billion.
Oklahoma, unlike many “environmentally progressive” states has no mandatory energy standards for state utilities. However, the robust economics of wind energy has spurred utilities to aggressively move from fossil fuels to renewable energy. In 2005, Oklahoma’s use of renewable energy was almost nonexistent. Today, Oklahoma uses a higher percentage of renewable energy than environmentally progressive states like Massachusetts and New York.
“Our Energy Conundrum”