The Big Smile Wind Farm at Dempsey Ridge in Oklahoma is up and running with a new name. The 132-MW project is on 10,888 acres of Roger Mills and Beckham Counties. The project is 15 miles west of Acciona’s 123-MW Red Hills Wind Farm that opened in June 2009.
Formerly the Dempsey Ridge Wind Farm, Acciona renamed the project for Jennifer “Jen” Koop-Krass, a popular employee who always wore a big smile. She was one the company’s earlier employees in North America. Koop-Krass died after a battle with ovarian cancer in 2011.
Acciona installed the 66 wind turbines of the new facility prior to the end of last year. They have been powered up and gradually connected to the grid, reaching full commercial operation this week.
The Big Smile Wind Farm will create enough clean energy to power around 46,000 homes in Oklahoma and surrounding states and will avoid the emission of about 339,000 metric tons of CO2 per year from conventional power plants, Acciona says.
The project will generate more than $20 million in tax revenue for Roger Mills County and will provide supplemental income to participating agricultural landowners through its 99 lease agreements. During construction, the project employed 185 workers and the on-going operation of the wind farm has created 13 new skilled jobs.
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