Westar Energy and other energy leaders recently celebrated the positive impact the Siemens nacelle factory is having on Kansas’ economy as part of America’s wind energy industry. After signing a nacelle bound for the Kay Wind project in neighboring Oklahoma, top officials from Westar, Siemens, Apex Clean Energy, Southern Company, and the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) – which all have a connection to Kay Wind – highlighted the important contributions wind energy makes to Kansas, particularly in the area of job creation.
Westar has secured a long-term power purchase agreement from Apex Clean Energy, the asset manager for the 299-megawatt (MW) Kay Wind project to be located in Kay County, Okla. Siemens is carrying out an order from Apex Clean Energy affiliate Kay Wind, LLC for equipment supply, technical field assistance, commissioning and long-term service for the project’s 130 wind turbines. Installation of the wind turbines is scheduled to begin in June 2015, with the start of operations anticipated in October 2015.
“As a long-time leader in renewable energy in Kansas, we are excited to help celebrate another project of ours in the Kay Wind Farm near Arkansas City using Siemens nacelles produced right here in Hutchinson using Westar electricity,” said Greg Greenwood, senior vice president, strategy at Westar.
Last month, Westar announced plans to further grow its renewable energy commitment to nearly 1,300 MW by purchasing Kansas wind energy from the Ninnescah wind farm to be constructed in Pratt County.
According to the Wind Coalition, the wind industry has created 12,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state and has attracted $8 billion in investment in Kansas – including seven windrelated manufacturing facilities. As of 2013, Kansas ranked 3rd in the U.S. for percentage of electricity delivered from wind (19.4 percent), powering more 870,000 average American homes.