The Department of Energy recently reported that Kansas is among the largest and fastest growing wind energy markets in the country.
In the annual Wind Technologies Market Report, Kansas ranked third among all the U.S. states in the percentage of in-state wind power generation for electricity. That’s enough capacity to generate more than 20 percent of its electricity from wind energy.
“It also said that in 2012, wind energy became the top source of new U.S. electricity generation for the first time.”
In 2012, Kansas installed 1,441 megawatts of new wind power capacity, which is enough to power 800,000 homes.
Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas is poised to become one of several states to benefit from wind energy. “Kansas is among the windiest states, and in 2012, it more than doubled its wind energy capacity to more than 2,000 megawatts.”
But Kansas needs more transmission lines to carry the wind-generated electricity out of western Kansas, and to power businesses and homes.
One transmission plan is being developed by Clean Line Energy Partners Houston, which would connect the current line in Dodge City to a transmission hub in western Indiana. “The 700-mile long Grain Belt Express would carry up to 3,500 megawatts of wind-generated electricity and cost $2 billion to build.”
There are several other projects that are looking to expand transmission lines to move wind-generated electricity outside of Kansas.
Source: The Wichita Eagle
By Gaylen Davenport
The recently extended wind energy tax credit was welcome news to much of Kansas.
Congress approved the credit of 2.2 cents a kilowatt through the end of 2013. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) the extension will also save up to 37,000 jobs in the wind energy industry.
The Kansas City Star has an in-depth editorial about the extended wind tax credit, and how it has helped Kansas.
Flat Ridge 2, the largest wind farm to be built in Kansas, was set to begin operation at the end of 2012. The project has 274 wind turbines, each generating 1.6 megawatts of electricity that’s enough to power 160,000 homes.
“Besides being the largest wind farm in Kansas, the $800 million project is the largest ever to be built all at once, instead of in phases.”
Wind energy has been bolstered by requirements in Kansas and Missouri, that electric utilities use renewable energy to meet part of electricity demand. “Wind energy has been boosted by the Production Tax Credit, which is used to reduce the price of electricity produced to help make it more competitive.”
Kansas has been ranked the second best in the U.S. in wind resources.
Source: Kansas City Star
Did you know that Kansas was named after the Kansa tribe, which means “people of the wind”? And rightly so.
Kansas has one of the highest levels of wind production. And according to several studies, “In Kansas, wind energy generation is at least equivalent in cost – and often cheaper – than traditional sources of energy.”
There are many benefits to renewable energy including utilizing an abundant and free power supply, whether it is wind or solar. Interestingly, 80 percent of the overall cost of most wind power is up front with buying and constructing the wind turbine. Only about 10 percent of the levelized cost is incurred during operations and maintenance.
Read more about wind energy in Kansas.
KCP&L won approval for a 6.7 percent annual rate hike for Kansas utility customers. The increase is expected to go into effect next month.
Kansas City Power & Light customers in Kansas will soon see increases in their utility bill. The Kansas Corporation Commission on Thursday approved a $33.1 million (6.7 percent) annual rate hike.
KCP&L originally asked for $63 million but subsequently reduced the request to $56 million to pay for environmental upgrades and a wind-energy project. The company said the rate hike was “in large part to meet federal environmental regulations and a state renewable energy mandate.” The average residential customer will see an increase of about $70 per year.
The utility company is also asking Missouri regulators to raise rates by up to 15 percent. The Missouri Public Service Commission, which regulates utility rates, is expected to decide next month. If approved, residential customers in Missouri will see an increase of $180 a year.
The rate increase for Kansas is expected to go into effect next month.
Source: Kansas City Star
Missouri and Kansas ranks among the states that needed the most improvements on energy efficiency according to the ACEEE.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy recently released their sixth annual state scorecard. The ACEEE measures states energy efficiency initiatives.
The top states include Massachusetts, California, and Oregon. The three most improved states are Oklahoma (thanks to newly enacted natural gas efficiency programs), Montana, and South Carolina.
States most in need of improvement include Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
“Energy efficiency improvements help businesses, governments, and consumers meet their needs by using less energy, saving them money, driving investment across all sectors of the economy, creating much-needed jobs, and reducing environmental impacts,” said Steven Nadel, Executive Director of ACEEE.
See how your state measures up by viewing the ACEEE scoreboard.
Researchers found that wind energy could power civilization 100 times over, but is it possible?
Can wind power ever meet the world’s energy needs? A study published this week in Nature Climate Change sought to find the answer to that question.
Right now wind power supplies about 4 percent of electric power in the U.S. but the study found that if we harnessed all the untapped wind, we would have enough to power the world. In fact, the study found that there’s enough wind potential to “power human civilization 100 times over.”
But the authors acknowledged the limitations of the study saying, “We were looking at the geophysical limits of what the Earth could handle. We didn’t necessarily restrict our study to what was feasible,” said Kate Marvel, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
If it were feasible, there would be a dramatic increase in turbines, and would require increasing power transmission lines. It’s certainly not a small undertaking, but wind power is rapidly becoming a common source of energy, especially in the Midwest.
In fact, in 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy released a comprehensive report “estimating that wind power could provide, at most, 20 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030.”
Source: Washington Post
The Smoky Hill Wind Farm is the largest wind farm in Kansas with a 100.8 MW output. Kansas is one of the leading states in wind energy potential.
The name Kansas comes from the Sioux Indian word for “people of the south wind” so is it any wonder that Kansas is experiencing a wind-energy construction boom?
According to Governor Sam Brownback, developers are investing nearly $3 billion to double the installations to 2.5GW is looking to happen before the wind production tax credit (PTC) expires at the end of the year. State officials believe that wind energy has the potential to provide nearly $135 billion to the economy.
Of course, Kansas cannot absorb all the energy that comes from the wind output, so exporting it to other states is a definite opportunity that continues to grow in the state.
“Wind is not a fad, as some people think,” said Michelle Fornara-Dean, the executive director of the Harvey County Economic Development Council, “We are competing not only with the next state for investment and jobs. We are in a global market.”
Source: ReCharge News