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Competitive market: developers busy in Kansas

FPL Energy energised about 30 MW of its 110 MW wind farm near Montezuma, Kansas in August and says it will have all 170 Vestas 660 kW turbines on-line by December 31. Utilicorp United agreed in March to buy the wind farm's output, most of which it will deliver to customers in Kansas, through WestPlains Energy, and in Missouri, through Missouri Public Service and St Joseph Light and Power. All three companies are divisions of Utilicorp. Utilicorp also plans to sell about 30 MW of the output as wholesale green power to local utilities-at the same price as power from other sources. Wind has become so competitive, especially with natural gas, that charging retail customers a green premium is no longer necessary, says the utility. It had offered customers a green product from its 16% share of two Zond 750 kW turbines at the Jeffries Energy Center in northern Kansas, but discontinued the program because of wind's improved economics.

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