Gov. Kelly announces Kansas wind farm construction
Governor Laura Kelly says Enel Green Power has started construction on a new 199 MW addition to the Cimarron Bend wind farm in Clark County.
Governor Kelly says the $281.4 million expansion will consist of 74 wind turbines, will be responsible for over 250 temporary jobs and will add 5-10 permanent operations and maintenance positions.
“Wind energy production has been an absolute win for our state, in terms of its benefits for the environment, Kansas business and residential consumers,” says Governor Kelly. “The Enel Green Power expansion is even more proof of Kansas’ appeal as one of the nation’s top wind energy producers. During this economic challenge, it’s important to recognize the value in the wind energy sector, which employs thousands of Kansans and contributes significant capital investment in our state each year.”
Governor Kelly says the 200 MW expansion is estimated to generate an additional $49 million in lease payments to local landowners and over $18 million in new revenue to fund schools and public services. She says when the addition is complete Cimarron Bend will generate over 2.7 TWh per year, which is equivalent to 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions.
“Kansas is uniquely positioned to be a regional and national leader in the development and expansion of renewable energy – particularly through wind power,” says Commerce Secretary David Toland. “Not only will this expansion create much-needed jobs in our state, but it will help move Kansas forward as we create innovation, grow businesses and foster an energy market that is affordable and efficient. I would like to thank Enel Green Power for its commitment to Kansas communities.”
The Governor says the expansion will include support for Evergy’s Renewables Direct program and help fuel the development of new wind energy investments in Kansas. She says the program features a “green” tariff which was approved by the Kansas Corporation Commission on 2018 that allows companies, cities, universities and other commercial and industrial customers to use some or all of their energy usage through a renewable source.
“As Kansas’ wind leader, Enel Green Power is proud to step forward to generate new jobs and economic growth for Kansas during this challenging time,” says Georgios Papadimitriou, Head of Enel Green Power in the US and Canada. “Most importantly, we remain firm in our commitment to protect the health and safety of our workers and host communities as we execute this expansion safely and sustainably.”
According to the AWEA annual market report Kansas is second in the nation for wind energy production. In 2019 wind energy usage passed coal for the first time as the largest energy source for generating electricity in Kansas and wind energy provided 41% of electricity generation in Kansas says Kelly.
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