On July 12th, 2016 Representatives from the City of McPherson and The McPherson Board of Public Utilities joined NextEra Energy and Westar Energy in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kingman Wind Energy Center. Kansas Governor, Sam Brownback participated in the event as well as company representatives, officials, and local land owners.
NextEra and Westar couldn’t have picked a better day for the celebration as winds of about 16 MPH, with gusts up to 22MPH were present confirming they had picked a great location for this farm.
The Kingman Wind Energy Center located in Kingman County, Kansas will consist of approximately 120 turbines capable of producing 200-megawatts of renewable wind generation; that is about as much energy as it takes to provide electricity to 50,000 homes! Westar will buy the energy from the farm and provide wholesale opportunities for half of that to its partners of which, the McPherson BPU agreed to purchase 30MW (See February 10th Press Release).
McPherson BPU Management and City Officials are excited to be able to include this clean Kansas wind power to their energy supply.
“It is wise to have some diversity in our supply. Particularly with the Governor’s goal to have 50% of Kansas’ energy coming from renewables by 2018. BPU’s General Manager, Tim Maier, along with his staff and his board have been evaluating renewable options the last year or so and found the opportunity to partner with Westar on the Kingman Wind Energy Center to be the best fit for the Utility. Westar has been a great partner to McPherson throughout the years, so this makes good sense.” said McPherson’s Mayor, Tom Brown.
“Economics for wind, when including the government production tax credits, have improved markedly, and BPU is pleased therefore to be able to add wind as a resource. This improves our portfolio sustainability, diversifies our resources, and by its nature reduces the emissions footprint on the environment of our energy portfolio,” said BPU’s Assistant General Manager, Mark Wurm.
“We know our customers are paying more attention to their ecological footprint and have expressed interest in powering their operations and homes with renewable energy despite knowing these renewables typically come at a higher premium. McPherson BPU is thrilled to be able to state that 16% of our current supply will now come from renewable sources while not threatening our current rate structure,” said Kasi Morales, BPU’s Key Account Manager
Making the choice to pursue renewables with Westar was an easy decision for McPherson as the BPU has had a contractual relationship with Westar since 1963. They share the goal of reliably and economically serving their respective customer base while being good stewards of the environment.
“Westar continues to be a great partner, and I remain very pleased that we advanced that partnership one step further with our renewable Power Purchase Agreement” Continued Mark Wurm.
The wind power is expected to be added to McPherson’s energy supply by early 2017.