United States

United States

Westar signs contract for 500MW Kansas wind farm

US: Kansas utility supplier Westar Energy has signed a deal with Infinity Wind Power to develop a 500MW wind farm in the state.

The Central Plains wind farm is wholly owned by Westar
The Central Plains wind farm is wholly owned by Westar

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The initial phase of the development, at Ironwood near Spearville in the west of the state, is expected to be completed by late 2011 when it will generate 200 MW.

Kansas law requires electric utilities to have renewable capacity equal to 10% of its peak summer demand. This will rise to 20% by 2020.

As a result, Westar needs to increase its renewable portfolio, which is currently at 300MW, to 600MW by 2020.

Westar owns or purchases power from three other farms in the state. It owns the 99MW Central Plains wind farm, near Leoti, has a 100MW share of a development near Nashville and purchases 96MW from Meridian Wind Farm near Concordia.

In 2008 Westar teamed up with Electric Transmission America to form Prairie Wind Transmission, a joint venture company that expects to bring a new 370 kilometre, 765 kV transmission line to Kansas by 2013.

The main purpose of the $600 million project is to create a superhighway that allows the export of renewable energy from the wind-rich areas of western Kansas to other states.



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