“I’ve been a longtime wind energy skeptic, but the sea of gigantic wind turbines piqued my interest,” wrote contributing writer Fred Logan in the Kansas City Business Journal.
A recent drive through the Smoky Hills Wind Farm led Logan to conduct a bit of research on the history of wind energy in Kansas. He found that the Smoky Hills Wind Famr supplies electricity to five utilities in Kansas and Missouri and is designed to produce enough electricity for 85,000 homes.
Kansas is not new to the wind energy market. In fact, the American Wind Energy Association recently reported that Kansas led the nation in the number of wind turbines under constation with 663. What’s more is that BP Wind Eneryg is spending $800 million to construct a massive wind farm in south-central Kansas.
Kansas is second only to Texas in wind power capacity, so that’s just the start of Kansas’ wind potential. The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that the state’s wind energy output could increase from the current 1,224 megawatts to 7,158 megawatts by 2030, creating 7,000 new jobs and have a $7.8 billion economic impact.
There’s no doubt that wind energy is a large investment, “but out on the plains, where the wind blows free, there’s abundant energy and economic potential.”
Source: Kansas City Business Journal