OG&E owns and operates seven natural gas and coal power plants, three wind farms, and three solar farms. It's part of our balanced approach to electric generation.
A Balanced Approach
Electricity is generated by several types of fuel on the OG&E system: natural gas, coal, wind and solar. Each has its own, unique benefits. For example, alternative fuel sources like wind and solar produce electricity only when the wind blows and the sun shines. When solar and wind electricity are not being produced, people still need their power. Using natural gas and coal as base fuels assures we reliably deliver electricity to meet the needs of all 853,000 customers we serve. In 2003, we were pioneers in the development of wind farms in Oklahoma, and in 2015 we built the first utility-scale solar energy farm in Oklahoma.
Power plants or farms require multi-million dollar investments and are intended to last in excess of 50 years. It’s important to make decisions when building new generation that supports reliability and lower rates while adding alternative forms of energy to support our commitment to environmental responsibility.
Regional Energy Market
OG&E and other utilities generating power in nine states belong to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). The SPP regional market went live in the spring of 2014 and is intended to provide more affordable power to the 15 million customers living and working in the region. It is designed to offer greater access to transmission delivery of electricity and greater fuel cost savings.
In the past, OG&E dispatched its units to meet its own customer demand. Now, the SPP is in control of assigning the most efficient generating units across the region to meet regional customer demand and to ensure electricity transmission is available. Each generation unit’s operations, including OG&E’s, is scheduled a day in advance. Then, every day in five-minute increments the SPP re-dispatches generation to available transmission lines. OG&E worked closely with the SPP members and operators for three years to design and adopt this type of energy market, which is considered the best in the nation.