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NextEra, Westar officially commission 400MW wind farms in Kansas

CTBR Staff Writer Published 06 April 2017

NextEra Energy Resources and Westar Energy have officially commissioned two wind farms, each of about 200MW capacity in the US state of Kansas, built at a combined investment of $650m.

All the power generated by the two wind farms, known as the Kingman and Ninnescah Wind Energy Centers, has been purchased by Kansas’ biggest electric utility, Westar Energy.

The combined clean power generated from the wind farms can meet the electricity needs of more than 100,000 homes in the region.

NextEra Energy Resources, a subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy, is the developer and operator of the two wind projects. While Kingman Wind Farm is located in the Kingman county, the Ninnescah Wind Farm is located in the Pratt county.

Put together, the wind farms comprise 240 wind turbines, each of 1.7MW capacity, manufactured by GE.

Apart from serving its customers, Westar Energy will also distribute the energy generated from the wind farms to its wholesale partners Midwest Energy and the cities of McPherson, Iola, Sabetha, Fredonia and Chanute via energy management service agreements.

Westar Energy president and CEO Mark Ruelle said: "These projects modernize and diversify Kansas' energy supply, and provide low-cost, clean energy to our customers.

"We are also pleased to make this renewable energy available to several of our wholesale customers who now have an opportunity to share in this tremendous investment in our state."

During their construction phase last year, the wind projects created around 500 jobs in the Kingman and Pratt Counties. Following their commencement of operations in December 2016, the wind farms created around 35 full-time roles.

Throughout their estimated operational lifetime of 30 years, the two wind farms put together will bring at least $40m in guaranteed payments to the county governments. They are also expected to deliver about $100m via payments to local landowners.