Development will proceed on a long-planned wind farm in Kansas, thanks to a power purchase agreement announced by Infinity Windpower and Sunflower Electric Power. The Shooting Star Wind Project, located between Greensburg and Dodge City, was hatched in 2001 by Clipper Windpower, but then languished. Clipper recently sold the development rights to Infinity, however, and the new 20-year power purchase agreement is expected to put the 104-megawatt (MW) project on track to be built and operational by the end of 2012.
The companies said the contract was made possible through the efforts of the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO), an organization of 24 member-owner electric cooperatives in 19 states. NRCO facilitates the procurement of renewable resources to assist its members in meeting their states’ renewable portfolio standards, diversifying their energy resource portfolios and gaining operational experience with renewable technologies.
The new wind power capacity will increase Sunflower’s renewable energy capacity to 29 percent of its retail peak demand – exceeding the state’s renewable portfolio standard of 15 percent by 2016. The project is expected to generate more than $10 million in royalty revenues for landowners over the life of the contract. Its construction will also require approximately 250,000 hours of labor.
“The addition of this wind generation to our system … will allow us to best meet our members’ needs for reliable energy at the lowest possible cost,” said Stuart Lowry, Sunflower’s president and chief executive officer. “Anytime we can harness the Kansas wind at an affordable price from a project that will provide many economic benefits to the region, it’s a great move for our members.”