Officials associated with wind farms gathered Wednesday in Hutchinson for an event at the Siemens nacelle factory.
The executives from Siemens, Westar Energy, Apex Clean Energy and the Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power discussed the economic contributions wind energy makes to Kansas. The officials also signed a nacelle that will become part of the Kay Wind project in Oklahoma, in which the companies all have involvement.
Siemens is fulfilling an order from Apex Clean Energy affiliate Kay Wind LLC for equipment, technical field assistance, commissioning and long-term service for 130 wind turbines for the 299-megawatt project, which is being built in Kay County, Okla.
Installation of the wind turbines is scheduled to begin in June, and the farm should be operational later this year.
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Once the project is generating power, Southern Power is expected to acquire the wind facility from Apex Clean Energy, marking the Southern Company system’s first wind project. Apex Clean Energy will continue to serve as asset manager for the project, and has secured long-term power purchase agreements with Topeka-based Westar Energy and Oklahoma-based GRDA for Kay Wind.
According to a coalition supported by the wind-power industry, Kansas has benefited from wind farm projects through the creation of 12,000 direct and indirect jobs and $8 billion in investment – including seven wind-related manufacturing facilities.