Despite the uncertainty from Washington, D.C., surrounding the Production Tax Credit, 2012 has been a very active year for wind developments in the state of Kansas. With eight signif icant wind projects currently under construction, Kansas is set to nearly double its installed capacity in the span of a single year and is leading the country in wind project construction by a comfortable margin. These projects, and the jobs that they represent, provide excellent economic opportunities for the state and the surrounding local communities, and the continued support from Topeka is helping Kansas become one of the premier locations for new wind projects in the United States.
Some of the Kansas projects that were recently completed or are currently being constructed are listed below.
Caney River. Developed by TradeWind Energy of Lenexa, Kan., and owned by Enel Green Power North America, the Caney River Wind Project will generate roughly 200 megawatts (MW) in Elk County, Kan. The project entities recently announced the execution of a 200-MW PPA with the Tennessee Valley Authority. The project went into commercial operation in January of 2012.
Post Rock. St. Louis-based wind energy developer Wind Capital Group is developing the 201-MW Post Rock Wind Energy Facility, located in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties in Kansas. Construction began in the fourth quarter of 2011, and the facility is anticipated to be online in the fourth quarter of 2012. The power purchase agreement for the Post Rock project is with Kansas-based electric utility Westar Energy.
Cimarron I. CPV Renewable Energy is developing a 165-MW wind project in Gray County, Kan., and recently reached an agreement for the project’s $262.8 million f inancing. The project is being constructed by Wanzek Construction and will be operated by North American Energy Services. A commercial operation date of November 2012 is expected.
Cimarron II. Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, announced that it will build, own and operate the 131-MW Cimarron II Windpower Project in Gray County, located approximately 200 miles west of Wichita. Duke Energy Renewables began construction of the Cimarron II Windpower Project in the fall of 2011 and plans to achieve commercial operation by June 2012. Additionally, in the f irst quarter of 2012, Duke Energy Renewables and Sumitomo Corporation of America f inalized a 50-50 ownership agreement for both the Cimarron II and Ironwood projects, securing approximately $353 million in f inancing for construction and operating costs.
Ironwood. In a situation very similar to that described for Cimarron II, Duke Energy Renewables announced that it would build, own and operate the 168-MW Ironwood Project in Ford and Hodgeman Counties, Kan. A PPA is currently in place with Westar Energy for the power generated by the project, and construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Additionally, in the f irst quarter of 2012, Duke Energy Renewables and Sumitomo Corporation of America f inalized a 50-50 ownership agreement for both the Cimarron II and Ironwood projects, securing approximately $353 million in f inancing for construction and operating costs.
Flat Ridge 2. BP Wind Energy North America Inc. (BPWENA) is constructing a 420-MW wind project located in Barber and Kingman Counties, Kan. The new wind project, known as Flat Ridge 2, will be located approximately 60 miles southwest of Wichita, Kan. This will be the largest wind farm in Kansas and the bulk of the power will be sold out of state. Commercial operation of the Project is currently planned for January 1, 2013.