I like big Christmas gifts.
I mean…a toothbrush is great and so is new undershirts…but I like the really big ones. The game-changers. The ones that require a reorganization of my barn in order to accommodate its hugeness. Those are the presents that get me out of bed early on Christmas morning.
I also like big economic impact projects. These are not the projects we spend most of our time on at the Enid Regional Development Alliance, but we do enjoy putting them together, working toward an announcement, and then cutting the ribbon when they are done.
We actually have several of these large projects moving forward in NW Oklahoma right now.
The largest of these projects is Wind Catcher. This is a $4.5 billion investment from PSO in our region. They will be working with Invenergy to construct the nation’s largest wind farm in the Oklahoma Panhandle and then transmit that electricity to a substation in Eastern Oklahoma before distributing to their customers in a multi-state area. Most of the turbine components for those 2000 MW of power will come through the Enid area which adds jobs and tax base to our local economy. We are also working with a number of components manufacturers that are keeping a close eye on the project to see if it gets completed. On January 11, the CEO of PSO, Mr. Stuart Solomon, will be in Enid at our Quarterly Membership Luncheon to discuss the project and share where we are in the approval process. I would encourage everyone who is interested to attend and learn.
This project is a complement to the Clean Line Energy project that will include over $2 billion in investment in our area. Both of these projects want to add value to the rich natural resources we have in our corner of America and sell it to others. Anytime we can export value added products from our economy and bring in cash in its place, we all win. Plus, investments like these help us to diversify our economy and continue to grow year in and year out.
If you add these projects to the $2.5 billion in investment we have had in Garfield County alone in the last five years, you can see that big things are happening in our neck of the woods.
These gifts have been wrapped up and placed under our NW Oklahoma Economic Tree. Now is just up to us to get them unwrapped and start playing with them.