Flat Ridge 2 wind farm gains new customer

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. has reached a long-term purchase power agreement to buy 51 megawatts of wind energy from the Flat Ridge 2 South Wind Farm in Harper, Barber and Kingman counties.

Gov. Sam Brownback was at the site earlier this week to mark the start of full construction of the wind farm.

The wind farm is part of the larger Flat Ridge 2 wind farm, currently projected for 419 MW, with 368 MW purchased by other utilities.

The farm, funded by a partnership between BP and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, is located on a 66,000-acre site 40 miles southwest of Wichita. The wind farm represents a combined investment of more than $800 million and is expected to be in full commercial operation by the end of the year.

“The addition of wind power to AECC’s generation portfolio will help to stabilize energy prices for cooperative member-owners, while providing another diverse source of clean renewable energy,” said Duane Highley, president and CEO of the cooperative.

In addition to the wind agreement, the cooperative owns 12 generation facilities, including coal-based, natural gas-based and hydroelectric-based power plants with more than 3,000 megawatts of capacity.