New BPU Wind Farm Partnership to Power KCK
The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has partnered with Lenexa-based Tradewind Energy and Enel Green Power to utilize energy from a new 400 MW wind farm being built in southwest Kansas. To further diversify its generation mix and utilize a clean energy alternative, BPU will purchase 200MW of energy through a 20-year renewable energy Purchase Power Agreement (PPA), and will tie into the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) Midwest Energy transmission system. The partnership was announced at a news event with Governor Sam Brownback in Topeka, Kansas on Friday, April 8. “When this project becomes fully operational in 2017, it will increase the size of BPU’s renewable portfolio to 45 percent of its total energy output,” stated Don Gray, General Manager of BPU. “Maintaining a diversified mix of generation capabilities allows our public utility to deliver the most affordable, reliable, and environmentally friendly energy we can to the community we serve.”
This long-term partnership will provide a fixed priced on energy for the utility, avoiding market volatility, in turn saving ratepayers money over time. In addition, it will allow BPU to become one of the greenest utilities in the region, and the nation. The state of Kansas currently has a Renewable Energy Standard goal of 15 percent which climbs to 20 percent in 2020. With the Cimarron Bend wind energy initiative, as well as existing hydro, landfill gas, and wind projects already in place, BPU will achieve a renewable energy capacity of approximately 65-70 percent by 2018, making it one of the most progressive public utilities in the country on this front.
Known as the Cimarron Bend wind farm, this 400 MW project will consist of 200 wind turbines spread out over 60 miles south of Dodge City, Kansas. The Cimarron Bend project is one of 10 new wind energy projects currently under development in Kansas. “When this new wind farm is complete, wind will account for more than 23 percent of all the electricity produced in the state of Kansas – and the BPU is proud to be playing a key part in this state-wide success story,” stated Gray.