In May 2010, the Oklahoma Legislature enacted the Oklahoma Energy Security Act (see H.B. 3028), establishing a renewable energy goal for electric utilities operating in the state. The goal calls for 15% of the total installed generation capacity in Oklahoma to be derived from renewable sources by 2015. There are no interim targets, and the goal does not extend past 2015.
The Oklahoma Energy Security Act also established a natural gas energy standard to declare natural gas as the preferred choice for any new fossil fuel generating facilities and added capacity to existing fossil fuel generating facilities beginning January 1, 2011, through January 1, 2020. Any electricity generation entity in the state choosing a fossil fuel source other than natural gas may provide evidence to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission as to why it is in the best interest of the state’s electric consumers.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reported that 25.9% (6417 MW) of installed capacity came from eligible renewable energy resources and demand side management in 2015, which is 5.05% higher than the year of 2014.
Eligible renewable energy resources include wind, solar, photovoltaics, hydropower, hydrogen, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, distributed generation from an eligible renewable energy resource where the generating facility or any integrated cluster of such facilities has an installed generating capacity of not more than five (5) megawatts, other renewable sources approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, demand side management and energy efficiency as provided in Title 17, Oklahoma Statutes, Section 801.6. Energy efficiency and demand-side management may be used to meet up to 25% of the renewable energy goal (i.e., 3.75% of total installed generation capacity).
Unlike the renewables portfolio standards adopted by other states, Oklahoma’s renewable energy goal does not require utilities to purchase and retire renewable energy credits to demonstrate compliance. Instead, each utility in Oklahoma that owns or operates electricity generation facilities must file a report with the OCC each year by March 1. The report must document the total installed capacity of all generation facilities, the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) generated by each facility, and the energy source for each facility.
In April 2015, Oklahoma enacted SB 351, which amended the renewable energy goal by allowing steam export capacity at qualified renewable energy sources to count toward the 15% capacity goal.