Wind turbines being built in Southwest Oklahoma

Wind turbines being built in Southwest Oklahoma

MARLOW, OK (KSWO) - Wind turbines aimed at creating clean, renewable energy are popping up left and right in the Rush Springs and Marlow area.

If you have driven through there, you can't miss the giant fans that are quickly starting to tower over the land. When the project is complete later this year, there will be 120 of them, as the company, NextEra Energy Resources is spending more than $400 million on the project. Those 120 turbines will generate enough power to serve 75-thousand homes.

Mike Goos lives near Marlow and said his family now has three turbines on their property.

"They showed interest in it, they were willing to pay us pretty decently for them. We thought they'd be beneficial for the area and beneficial to us," Goos said.

Every land owner who agrees to put a turbine on their property will receive money from NextEra for the next 30 years as the company essentially leases one-acre of their land.

"More than $60 million will go to the land-owners who host turbines and parts of the project," NextEra Spokesperson Bryan Garner said. "That's payments that help diversify their income. If they're farmers, it helps offset the good and bad times of farming and it helps them continue that family business and pass it on to the next generation."

Garner said on top of paying farmers, the wind farm will help the local economy. 240 people are currently employed to build the turbines and when it is complete it will raise more than $30 million in property taxes over the next 30 years. On top of that, the company is building new gates and roads to and from the turbines that farmers will have full access to once construction is done.

Garner said there are certainly some people who are against the turbines being built, but that they have had a largely positive response from those they have actually been able to sit down and talk.

"We wouldn't be here if the land owners who didn't want us here," Garner said. "Each one of these turbines represents someone who has said yes I want to host a wind turbine on my land and benefit from it. Clean energy is something our country needs right now. It's something Oklahoma has been blessed with a great wind resource."

Goos said while he and his family did have concerns when they first were approached, those concerns have since gone away.

"We don't really have any worries right now. We like what we see," Goos said.

This project has been two years in the making, but construction only began in April. The project is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

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