An action Tuesday by the Kansas Corporation Commission has paved the way for a new wind farm in Northeast Kansas.
The KCC gave us the okay to launch a new program that would be aimed at attracting large customers that are interested in having access to affordable renewable energy, which, of course, Kansas wind provides to us pretty readily,” said Westar spokesperson Gina Penzig.
Westar announced it reached a 20-year agreement with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC to purchase energy from a new 300 megawatt wind farm.
“It will be in Nemaha County when it’s built,” said Penzig. “What we’ve found is, there are some large companies that, as part of their sustainability mission and their outreach with their stakeholders, are really looking to have a direct connection with renewable energy, to be able to say that a portion of a certain wind farm is helping to provide energy to their operations.”
The economic impact for Nemaha County will be significant.
“When we’re looking at different wind farms that we might participate in, one of the things that we look at is the benefit
to the community and community acceptance of the wind farm,” Penzig said. “In this case, it would bring a wind farm to Nemaha County. It would be developed northeast of Manhattan. During construction, it would bring about 250 jobs. Once it’s in operation, you’re looking at about 15 to 20 jobs.”
In addition, landowners are compensated for having a wind turbine on their property during this time.