Kansas State to get half of campus energy from wind farm

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Kansas State University officials estimate that half the Manhattan campus will be powered by wind by 2020.

University officials announced a new agreement last week with Missouri-based Westar Energy, The Kansas City Star reported. The Kansas City electric utility will cover half the campus’s energy needs, saving up to $200,000 per year.

Kansas State’s new power source will come from Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center, a 300-megawatt wind farm northeast of Manhattan in Nemaha County. It’s projected to be operational by 2020.

The agreement locks the university into fixed rates that are cheaper than its electricity bill rates for about 20 years. Kansas State currently pays 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour, but the new plan will freeze costs at 1.8 cents.

The university consumes about 113 million kilowatt-hours per year.

Gary Weishaar, university manager of energy and controls, said the move wasn’t just about cost savings but part of ongoing sustainability efforts that are important to students.

“That’s the No. 1 question they ask … about renewables,” Weishaar said. “They care about climate change, global warming and renewable energy.”

The university also has plans to transition to more energy-efficient LED lighting and replace dated technology with more sustainable products.