Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E), a subsidiary of Oklahoma City-based OGE Energy Corp., says it will expand its renewable energy portfolio with the construction of two, 5-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% 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, Okla. The Choctaw Nation – OG&E Solar Energy Center will be built in Durant, Okla. OG&E will construct, own and operate both centers, which are expected to come online in August 2020.
“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,” says Sean Trauschke, president and CEO of OGE.
“In addition to serving tribal needs, these projects will offer the benefits of solar energy to all customers through our subscription-based program,” he adds.
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, Okla. 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 MW of universal solar energy from a solar energy center built near Covington, Okla.
With nearly 68,000 citizens, the Chickasaw Nation is the 12th-largest federally recognized Indian tribe in the U.S. The Chickasaw Nation has an annual economic impact of $3.7 billion in Oklahoma. The tribe has more than 13,500 employees. A democratic republic with executive, legislative and judicial departments, the tribe’s jurisdictional territory includes all or part of 13 counties in south-central Oklahoma.
The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the U.S. with close to 200,000 tribal members and more than 10,000 employees. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, the historic boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma.
With the addition of the two new solar facilities, OG&E’s total solar energy capacity will be approximately 22.5 MW. OG&E has 6,976 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by low-sulfur coal, natural gas, wind and solar.
Photo: Led by Chief Gary Batton, the Choctaw Nation governs itself through a Tribal Council and three distinct branches: executive, legislative and judicial.
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