Kiowa Co. wind farm getting a push

Edie Hall
Hutchinson News, August 24, 2007

A wind farm in Kiowa County? It's not official, but it is darn close.

Last spring, Westar Energy issued a request for bids for renewable energy projects.

Clipper Windpower, which for several years has proposed a wind farm west of Greensburg, submitted the $200 million project, which has now been short-listed by Westar.

Clipper had previously proposed the project to Westar in 2004, and to Kansas City Power and Light in 2005, but neither proposal came to fruition.

This time around, things are looking up.

Gina Penzig, Westar spokeswoman, said the Topeka-based energy company expects to submit a predetermination filing about the Kiowa County project to the Kansas Corporation Commission.

This filing will basically ask the commission to put its stamp of approval on the project, which sends a message to Westar's investors that the project is a viable one.

"We're very serious about investing in wind energy," Penzig said. "And we believe the community and regulatory support is there."

Penzig said Westar wants to purchase up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy, so the size of the projects it chooses to invest in will determine how many projects Westar undertakes.

The proposed Kiowa County wind farm would generate 105 megawatts and would include 42 towers, each generating about 2,500 kilowatts of energy.

There is the potential that one of the towers could be donated to Greensburg, said Bob Mosier, president of the Kiowa County Development Group Inc.

"When they proposed this to Kansas City Power and Light, there was talk of them donating one tower to Greensburg at that time," Mosier said. "So it's a possibility, but not a fact yet."

POWERFUL WIND

The proposed Kiowa County wind farm would produce 105 megawatts of power. One megawatt can power 300 homes, so this project would provide power to about 31,500 homes.


Wind farm gets go-ahead

Edie Hall
Pratt Tribune, July 30, 2007

Longtime Greensburg resident and community leader Bob Mosier announced late Tuesday afternoon he'd just received word from Tom Fieler of Clipper Wind, Inc. that agreement has been reached between his firm and Westar Energy of Topeka to build a 105 megawatt electricity-generating wind farm on the same site south of Mullinville previously considered by KCP&L for a similar facility in 2005. That contract was eventually awarded to a site surrounding the town of Spearville.

A total of 42 wind-generating towers, each standing nearly 200 feet in height, will be installed in southwestern Kiowa County, beginning in late 2008. Mosier said Fieler communicated Westar may dedicate a tower to supplying electricity to the City of Greensburg. That, and other details will need to ironed out before the signing of the contract, expected in late August.

Fieler had worked closely with Mosier and other interested Kiowa County residents for several years.