The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority on Aug. 31 announced that a project is in development to add solar to OMPA’s generating resource mix for the first time ever.
The North Fork Solar project will add 120 megawatts of capacity to OMPA’s power supply. The solar farm will be located in Kiowa County in southwest Oklahoma near OMPA members Frederick and Altus. It is expected to go online in 2024.
Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc., is the developer for the project.
OMPA has reached a 15-year power purchase agreement for 100 percent of the generation produced by the project.
“OMPA is extremely excited to add North Fork Solar to our portfolio of energy resources. This will continue to diversify our energy mix and increase the amount of non-carbon resources for the benefit of our member cities,” OMPA General Manager Dave Osburn said.
Along with his role at OMPA, Osburn is Chair of the American Public Power Association’s Board of Directors.
Recurrent Energy selected Blattner Energy as the engineering, procurement and construction partner for North Fork Solar.
Once construction is completed, Recurrent Energy will own and operate the project through its Power Services business as a part of its commitment to growing the number of renewable energy projects in its operating assets portfolio.
OMPA’s resource mix in 2022 was led by natural gas at 46 percent. Its combined renewable generation equaled 27 percent of the mix, with energy coming from wind, hydro and landfill-to-gas.
Three different coal plants the Authority owned a share in closed in the last five years, as coal dipped to 15 percent of the resource mix in 2022.
OMPA’s demand has remained high, as its 2022 peak was the highest of the last decade and its overall energy delivered was third-highest during that same time period.
The Authority serves 42 municipal-owned electric systems in Oklahoma, as well as two in Arkansas and another in Texas.