Gov. Sam Brownback, along with Westar Energy, Duke Energy Renewables and Sumitomo Corporation, celebrated the expansion of wind energy in Kansas yesterday in Dodge City.
The officials met at Magouirk Conference Center and then proceeded to the Ironwood Windpower Project site in Spearville. The Ironwood Windpower Project is a 167.9 megawatt wind farm featuring 73 wind turbines.
The wind farm is owned and operated by Duke Energy Renewables and Sumitomo Corporation.
Westar Energy will buy the entire power output for a period of 20 years. According to a prepared statement by Westar, the wind farms brought online under agreements with Westar represent more than $700 million in investment.
The company announced Oct. 10 that it's newest wind farms in central and southwest Kansas, including Ironwood, started to produce power for its customers.
Gov. Brownback commended Westar Energy earlier this month and said he appreciates the company's commitment as a national leader in wind energy.
"Kansas ranks first in the nation for new wind construction with more than $3 billion in investments this year,” Gov. Sam Brownback said. “Wind energy development provides economic opportunities to rural areas of Kansas, and our state can leverage the availability of clean energy to attract business.”
Westar Energy has agreements with the developers of the wind farms to buy up to 369 megawatts of electricity from them. That more than doubles the electricity the Topeka-based utility can generate from renewable resources to 670 megawatts, according to a story by the Associated Press.
The 201-megawatt Post Rock Wind Farm in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties began production Sept. 28. It was developed by St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group.