Westar Energy is answering the governor's call for to make Kansas a leader in wind energy. The utility announced it would acquire up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy by 2010 with the most likely source being wind power.
By doing so, Westar would more than double the amount of the state's energy comes from windmills and would be a significant step towards the governor's goal of 10% of the state's electricity coming via wind power.
Kansas currently ranks among the top three states in utilizing wind energy, however still only comprises 3.5% of its energy production.
Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson cites the Westar announcement as validation of the states collaborative approach to encouraging wind power, working with utilities rather than mandating utilities build wind farms.