Five Native American tribes are teaming up to develop the largest wind farm on US tribal land.
The 90-turbine wind farm will be in Oklahoma on 6000 acres of land, half owned by the Cherokee Nation and the other half on lands owned by the Kaw Nation, Otoe-Missouria Tribe, Pawnee Nation and Ponca Nation.
The electricity generated will be enough to offset tribal electricity demand, with excess to spare for the grid. It will also establish a Native American Green Tag market.
PNE Wind USA will start building the 153 megawatt (MW) wind farm immediately and will own half the equity in along with the Cherokee Nation.
"The Cherokee Nation expects to play a key role in Oklahoma’s emerging wind energy industry," says Bill John Baker, Cherokee Nation Chief . "The Cherokee Nation is committed to growing the Oklahoma economy, helping reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and creating green jobs for our people in the renewable energy sector."
The project is estimated to generate $16 million in revenue over the next 20 years and there are plans for expansion.
Cherokee Nation is also using the project to gain skills in wind farm development and associated skills. They plan to form a business entity that helps other tribes develop their own wind projects.
Oklahoma gets 10.5% of its electricity from wind with 3135 MW and added 1,127 MW last year alone.