Altus Bar-S plant moves to wind power

Jason Angus Reporter

August 15, 2013

The Bar-S Foods Co. plant in Altus now operates solely on green power, and is reducing their carbon footprint on the environment. As of early August, Bar-S purchased “wind tags” from Altus Power on energy generated by wind towers owned by the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority to use as a renewable source of energy.

“Reducing our carbon foot print is something we’ve been trying to do for the last few years,” Bar-S Division Vice President David Tucker said. “Fortunately this is a pretty easy one that doesn’t require any capital expenditure on our part.” Tucker said the Bar-S plant recently found some success in reducing emissions from buying wind power and also reducing water consumption. “It’s good that the City is providing that option.”

“Bar-S is a big part of our system,” says Altus Power Superintendent Daniel Scott. “By them saying, ‘We’ll buy wind tags off of you. We’ll be green,’ to me, they are saying, ‘We’re going be good to the environment and to the City,’ all in the same breath.” Of all Altus Power customers, the Bar-S plant accounts for 25% of the energy consumption during the winter months, and almost 12% during the summer months, Scott explained.

“The OMPA and the City of Altus has always been a leader in the renewable energy market,” Scott said. “Oklahoma is the sixth largest producer of wind energy in the country, and OMPA and the City of Altus were the first to have wind power in the state.”

Of the 136-megawatts owned by OMPA, 28% is renewable energy.

In 2003, OMPA purchased 34 wind towers with a 51-megawatt (MW) total capacity from the Oklahoma Wind Energy Center in Woodward. Each wind tower stands 210 feet tall with turbines blades 110 feet in length on 1200 acres of private land. Energy production begins at speeds as low as 8 mph all the way to 55 mph. Each turbine can generate a maximum of 1.5 MW. The turbines don’t produce any emissions or solid waste and don’t require any water to operate.

As of Feb. 27, OMPA began using landfill gas from a municipal solid-waste landfill gas plant in Sand Springs, also a first for the state. The plant currently produces 3 MW. OMPA owns 49.2 MW at the Canadian Hills Wind Farm near El Reno, and also owns and operates the 29 MW generating Kaw Hydroelectric Plant located near Ponca City.

Through the OMPA, Altus Power offers rebate programs (W.I.S.E., D.E.E.P.) for installing energy-efficient air conditioning, electric heat pumps, NEMA motors, and fluorescent or LED technology lights. Doing so will result in an improved load factor and less energy demand on OMPA power facilities, ultimately reducing the customers carbon footprint.