Westar launches Kansas wind energy program

(02 October 2007) Westar Energy, Inc. said it has reached tentative agreements with developers to build three wind farms in Kansas totaling approximately 300 MW. All are expected to be producing energy by the end of next year. In addition, Westar has indicated it will seek an additional 200 MW to be available by year end 2010.

Under the agreements, Westar Energy would own about half of the wind generators at a cost of about $282 million and purchase energy under supply contracts for the other half.

The wind farms are at three sites in Kansas:

  • Central Plains Wind Farm will be a 99 MW project. The developer for the project is RES America Developments, Inc. Westar will own the generation at this location, which is expected to begin producing electricity in late 2008.

  • Westar Energy will purchase under contract 96 MW from the Meridian Way Wind Farm. Horizon Wind Energy, owned by Energias de Portugal, owns and will operate the 201 MW wind farm. The 96 MW that Westar Energy will purchase is scheduled to be available in late 2008.

  • The Flat Ridge Wind Farm is a proposed 100 MW wind-powered electric generating project. BP Alternative Energy North America Inc. is developing the project through its subsidiary, Flat Ridge Wind Energy, LLC. Construction of the project is expected to start in 2008. Westar will own 50 MW of power generation and will buy the remaining 50 MW under a power purchase agreement.