Opinion Columns & Blogs

Kansas second only to Texas for new wind power

Kansas continues to move closer to Gov. Sam Brownback’s goal of becoming the “Saudi Arabia of wind.” The state was second only to Texas in adding the most wind generation during the first quarter of this year. The 200-megawatt Cimmeron Bend II wind farm in Clark County and the 280-megawatt Western Plains wind farm in Ford County started operations in the first quarter. Kansas wind power generation also grew 18 percent in 2016. All total, Kansas now generates 4,931 megawatts of electricity from wind, with more projects in the works. Nationwide, there were 908 utility-scale turbines installed in the first quarter, totaling 2,000 megawatts of capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association. That’s the best first quarter since 2009 – with nearly a quarter of that new capacity coming from Kansas. – Phillip Brownlee