Event center windpower changeover a first for OG&E
Event center windpower changeover a first for OG&E Enid Event Center and Convention Hall are coming clean. Global Spectrum, which operates the event center, recently partnered with OG&E Wind Power to buy 1,332 Renewable Energy Credits, which will make the Enid facility 100 percent wind powered. The changeover to wind energy took place today, and ...
Enid Event Center and Convention Hall are coming clean.
Global Spectrum, which operates the event center, recently partnered with OG&E Wind Power to buy 1,332 Renewable Energy Credits, which will make the Enid facility 100 percent wind powered.
The changeover to wind energy took place today, and the event center is the first convention and entertainment facility to be 100 percent wind powered in the OG&E system.
Global Spectrum’s Keller Taylor, general manager of Enid Event Center and Convention Hall, said they are excited for this new opportunity.
“We are trying to look for environmentally friendly initiatives, so it’s exciting to take the event center to 100 percent wind power and help divert some of the other emissions,” he said. “It’s one way that a building like this can make an impact from an environmental standpoint. We consciously try to go after opportunities like this wherever we are.”
Through the purchase of energy credits, the center will transition the kind of power it uses, which draws from the energy already available from OG&E wind farms, said John Little, community affairs manager for the OG&E Enid area.
“Whenever there is wind power produced, there are credits associated with that and you have entities like the event center, and they can sign up to have a certain amount of credit,” he said. “The energy used here is backed by the wind energy. When wind energy is produced, it normally goes out on the (power) grid, but here, you’re designating that portion to be used by this facility.”
OG&E, a subsidiary of the Oklahoma City-based OGE Energy Corp., announced in 2003 that it would add wind power to its energy portfolio, making them the first in the state to use wind power.
“Now, about 12 percent of our total generating capacity is by wind,” Little said.
Although the event center won’t actually save money on the transition, its environmental footprint will be smaller.
“There’s actually a cost to acquire the credits, so it’s an investment through our partnership with OG&E,” Keller said. “We aren’t offsetting our spending, and for the long term, there’s actually a small premium.”
When the wind isn’t blowing, the turbines don’t turn and energy isn’t created, Little said.
“To adjust for that, we have gas turbines that can respond and come online quickly to make up for that,” he said. “When the wind is going, the gas (usage) goes down, but when the wind isn’t, the gas goes up.”
Zack Orr, marketing coordinator for the event center, said the environmental benefit can’t be discounted because of the increase in financial cost.
“The big thing that has to be figured into the renewable energy cost is the environmental aspect of displacing the Co2 emissions,” he said. “It’s like taking 158 cars off the road.”
The 1,332 credits, or 1,322,000 kWh of wind energy, is enough to displace 991 tons of Co2 emissions, take 158 cars off the road or plant 332 acres of trees, according to a press release from the event center, OG&E and Global Spectrum.
Last year, 10,501 wind energy customers displaced 33,105 tons of Co2 through OG&E credits.
OG&E wants to be known as a company that does good for the environment and the customers, Little said, and the wind energy agreement between Global Spectrum and OG&E does just that.
“It’s another way OG&E is helping our communities by creating a greener, cleaner footprint,” he said. “We want to be known as a company that is a good environmental steward and takes care of the customers.
“We’ve enjoyed a strong partnership with the city of Enid for many years, and we’re pleased they’ve shown their strong commitment to our renewable energy program.”
Understanding wind energy can be complicated, and OG&E will have a permanent educational wind energy display in the event center to inform guests about how it all works, and to provide energy saving tips.
- Sally Asher