BPU Exceeds 45% Renewable Energy Threshold
With completion of the new Cimarron Bend Wind Farm in Western Kansas, BPU expects over 45 percent of its power generation to now come from renewable energy sources like the sun, water, and wind. From a capacity standpoint, BPU is well beyond the current State of Kansas’ Renewable Energy Standard goal of 15%, and will be three times the state’s goal of 20% renewable capacity for utilities by 2020. Renewable energy is a clean, environmentally friendly alternative to coal generated electricity. With its use of hydropower, landfill methane gas, wind energy, and in the near future a new community solar farm in Wyandotte County, BPU has become one of the “greenest” public utilities in the nation.
“Maintaining a well-diversified mix of generation capabilities allows BPU to provide affordable, reliable, and environmentally friendly energy to our community and customers,” stated Don Gray, General Manager of BPU. “We are proud to be a recognized industry leader, with renewable energy sources now exceeding BPU’s coal generation output for the first time in history.”
With 200 MW coming from Cimarron Bend, and another 50 MW from the Smoky Hill and Alexander wind farms, these assets will produce enough energy to power approximately 110,000 homes annually. The Bowersock hydropower plant on the Kansas River in Lawrence, KS can power 3,500 homes, while methane gas energy from the Oak Grove Landfill can power another 1,500 homes annually.
About BPU BPU’s water department was originally created in 1909, and its electric utility was operational in 1912. The purpose of the utility, then and to this day, is to provide the highest quality electric and water services at the lowest possible cost. Today the publicly owned utility serves approximately 63,000 electric and 50,000 water customers, primarily in Wyandotte County, Kansas. The mission of the utility and its employees is “to focus on the needs of our customers, to improve the quality of life in our community while promoting safe, reliable and sustainable utilities.” BPU’s Web site is www.bpu.com.