Kansas looks to become a renewables state with new Kingman Wind Energy Center

Source: By Lindsay Sax, WIBW • Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- State leaders hope Kansas will be known for more than just its wheat crop.

“Kansas is not only the Wheat State; it is the renewables state,” said Gov. Sam Brownback. “It is my goal that by the time I leave office in 2018, 50 percent of our energy will come from renewable resources.”

The state is one step closer to that goal with the construction of the new Kingman Wind Energy Center. The center is a collaboration between Westar Energy and NextEra Energy Resources.

Brownback was joined by local leaders and landowners Tuesday to celebrate the project. The group signed a 150-foot wind turbine blade that will soon be spinning over the Kansas plains.

“The energy produced here will help move Kansas forward,” said John Bridson, senior vice president of generation and marketing, Westar Energy.

The center will work at 200 megawatts and will produce enough energy to power about 50,000 Kansas homes.

Leaders also hope it brings more than just power to the communities Westar serves.

“Wind energy creates good, high-paying jobs and produces millions of dollars in payments to landowners and local government which directly benefit schools, roads and essential services,” said John DiDonato, vice president of wind development, NextEra Energy Resources.

The wind turbines are scheduled to be up and running by the end of 2016.

“This is a project the community can be proud of- one that will help sustain Kingman County economically and provide clean, renewable energy for generations of Kansans to come.”