Westar Energy has proclaimed that it is expanding its wind energy portfolio by the addition of 369 MW of wind energy. Two wind development companies have signed agreements with Westar for the sale of electricity produced by these companies to Westar at their Kansas wind farms.
Last month Westar submitted an application for approval of the purchase agreements with the Kansas Corporation Commission. The agreements are subject to the approvals of their respective boards, final negotiations and also acceptable regulatory approvals.
According to CEO of Westar, Bill Moore, Westar leads the utilities in the nation and is increasing its commitment to the Kansas wind energy. The company was a good environmental steward, providing customers with reliable and affordable energy. It has signed a contract to buy 201 MW of energy from Wind Capital Group’s, Post Rock Wind Farm, located in Lincoln and Ellsworth Counties using 1.5 MW General Electric wind turbines. Another contract has been signed with Duke Energy Generation Services for168 MW of wind energy, which would be produced at the Ironwood Wind Power Project located in Hodgeman and Ford Counties. This site is owned by Westar but has been allotted for developers. The present agreement furnishes almost one-third of the 500 MW potential of the Ironwood project. The project plans on using 2.3 MW wind turbines manufactured by Siemens to be provided by the newly opened Siemens Nacelle unit in Hutchinson.
According to Gov. Mark Parkinson, utilities such as Westar should make use of local resources and thereby increase their clean energy portfolios. Kansas has a wide potential for developing renewable energy ventures and Westar is showing the way by allying with companies such as Siemens for the benefit of both the environment and the economy. Senator Sam Brownback, Governor-elect remarked that Wind energy is one very valuable source of clean renewable energy for Kansas and appreciated Westar’s leadership in wind energy projects. Both projects would begin construction work in 2011 with a 2012 year end finishing target. With the added 200 MW and a further 169 MW Westar would almost meet the 15% clean energy needs as per stipulations by 2016. Westar Energy is the major electric utility in Kansas supplying electricity to around 686,000 customers in the state. Its total energy capacity is about 7,100 MW and it operates almost 35,000 miles of transmission and electric distribution lines.