Westar moves ahead with Pratt County wind project

Westar Energy Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to expand its use of wind-powered energy.

The company said in a news release that the addition will grow Westar’s renewable energy commitment to nearly 1,300 megawatts.

Westar will purchase energy from a 200-megawatt wind farm to be constructed on its behalf in Pratt County by an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources.

“Kansas wind provides the best economic fit to make renewable energy available and affordable for all our customers,” Mark Ruelle, Westar Energy president and chief executive officer said in a statement. “Westar is the state’s largest supporter of renewables, and we are excited to add more clean Kansas wind energy to our energy supply.”

The Ninnescah wind farm in Pratt County will be built beginning late this year or early 2016 and will begin providing energy by the end of 2016.

Westar said the project is expected to bring to nearby communities about $300 million in capital investment and about 200 temporary, construction jobs.