Westar Energy’s new Western Plains Wind Farm near Spearville is now complete, advancing Kansas’ position as a leading producer of renewable energy. Thanks to production from Western Plains Wind Farm, Westar Energy can now meet more than half the annual electricity needs of the homes, businesses, and organizations it serves with no emissions.
“By carefully selecting the locations for our wind farms, we’ve cost-effectively grown our commitment to renewable energy,” said John Bridson, senior VP, generation and marketing. “In February, on a day with particularly windy conditions, there was one hour where we met 90% of our customers’ electricity needs with renewable energy.”
The Western Plains 280-MW wind farm in Ford County began full operation on March 1, 2017. Westar will own and operate the wind farm, which was developed by Infinity Wind and built by Mortenson Construction.
Over the next 20 years of operation, about $75 million in land lease payments and payments to local and county government will boost the local economy. Construction entailed about 200 temporary jobs, and the wind farm brings about three dozen permanent jobs to the community.
Westar selected Siemens’ wind turbines for the project. Nacelles, the key component housing the electric generators for the turbines, were manufactured in Hutchinson.
Western Plains is the third wind farm owned by Westar Energy, in addition to eight wind farms and a land fill gas generator that Westar makes possible through long-term power contracts.
Later this spring, Westar will add a 1-MW community solar installation in South Hutchinson to its renewable commitment. Renewable sources meet about a third the annual electricity needs of the homes, businesses, and organizations served by Westar, with Wolf Creek Nuclear Generating Station providing another 20%.
Filed Under: News, Projects, Turbines