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W

the
ind
factor
A GateHouse Kansas project

May 2017
2 / May 2017 The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project
A GateHouse
Kansas Project

A GateHouse
Kansas Project

Project editor:
Ron Sylvester
Art director:
Wendy Skellenger
Digital producer:
Andrew Duscher

CONTRIBUTORS:

Roger Bluhm

Scott Aust, Brett Riggs

THE POWER
of Kansas
Pat Lowry, Jon Howard

wind
John Green, Amy Bickel,
Jim Heck, Sandra Milburn,
Travis Morisse, Greg Wood,
Jesse Brothers,
Jesse Bribiesca,
Jessica Stucky, Jen Sterling

An aerial view of an opened wind turbine in a field April 11 outside of Spearville (Sandra J. Milburn/

W
Staff photographer). Cover image: Spearville wind farm (Travis Morisse/Staff photographer). ind energy in Kansas and the United
Josh Arnett, Teri Hansen

Resource’s alternate-energy use is solid,


States is reaching lofty heights.
During the first quarter of 2017, the

though several factors will affect boom industry installed more than 900 utility-scale
wind turbines across the country, together capa- Susan Welte, Doug Carder
By John Green ble of generating 2 gigawatts of new electricity.
Staff writer
That was the strongest first quarter for instal-
lations in eight years – and the second strongest Chance Hoener,
Pat Richardson
Serving Kansans Since 1884 first quarter ever, said John Hensley, deputy
director for industry data and analysis with the
American Wind Energy Association, or AWEA.
Checking & Savings • Commercial & Ag Loans More turbines were turned on in the first five Jennifer Stultz
Home & Auto Loans • Treasury Management
months of this year than in the first nine months
Locations in 22 Kansas and Nebraska Communities! of last year. The new development pushed total
Find a branch near you at www.centralnational.com
wind capacity in the U.S. above 84 GW.
Member FDIC Texas, the nation’s wind energy leader by far,
Equal Housing Lender
again topped new development with 724 mega- Erin Mathews,
We have solutions for all of your financial needs! Sharon Montague,
Insurance • Wealth Management & Trust Services
watts. Kansas, however, was second in new
Mary Landes,
Please Note that Investment and Insurance products: Are NOT FDIC Insured • Are NOT Guaranteed by the Bank • May lose value Kirstien Kroeger
See WIND / 4
The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project May 2017 / 3
4 / May 2017 The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project

Wind industry,” AWEA’s Hensley


said. “It was a good kickoff
for the year, with a lot of
power within the multistate
Southwest Power Pool grid
that includes Kansas.
there was up to $15 million
paid to landowners.”
Every agreement is
GW: WHAT’S
A GIGAWATT?
Fortune 100 companies who
want access to more renew-
able energy.”
• From Page 2 activity across the country.” “We’ve seen tremendous different and individually
Besides bringing 2 giga-
watt online, the industry
growth over those 15 years,
but in just the last two years
negotiated, and prices
vary by location, the size MADE IN THE U.S.
development with 418 MW added 4,500 megawatts in we’ve seen 2,000 MW added of turbines and how much A gigawatt, or 1 billion watts,

T
of additional wind in gear. either new construction or in the state,” Hensley noted. competition there is for is equal to the power he development of
The Wheat State now has projects in advanced devel- There are a lot of players leases. Generally, however, generated by: energy in Kansas
more than 2,740 turbines opment. in the state, Hensley said, the average is $3,000 to has been a bit like

500
spread across 31 wind farms Hensley said nearly 21 with 17 different wind farm $6,000 per megawatt, said the wind itself: light some
in 23 counties, according GW of wind power is in developers and 15 different Kimberly Svaty, Kansas years and near gale force in
to the Climate and Energy some stage of development, companies or utilities draw- public policy director with others.
Project. About two-thirds almost equal to the amount ing on the power. The Wind Coalition. The push to build wind
are in western Kansas. of power already installed The four biggest devel- “It’s a cash crop that utility scale wind turbines started in 2007 with a vol-
Industry experts say in Texas. opers, however, account helps keep some farms up untary portfolio standard

4.6
the boom in wind is likely Direct employment in the for nearly 60 percent of and running,” Svaty said. initiated by Gov. Kathleen
to continue, although a industry has now surpassed ownership. “Equally as important, Sibelius, Barnett said.
number of issues could 102,000 jobs, including Westar Energy, by far, the wind industry is a ma- Then, in 2009, as part of an
affect how fast or high wind 25,000 in manufacturing. is the largest owner and jor engine of job growth,” agreement brokered by Gov.

million
development in Kansas can Projections, Hensley said, buyer of the wind power, Hensley said. “In 2016, Mark Parkinson to move
or will go. are for another 8,000 jobs to controlling more than one- the Kansas wind industry expansion of the Holcomb
be added by 2020. third of what’s produced, at employed over 5,000 folks coal plant forward, a man-
MILLIONS “Wind power continues
to be a bargain for consum-
1,544 MW.
When Westar energized
helping develop projects,
both on the construction of
datory Renewable Portfolio
Standard became law, noted
solar photovoltaic (PV)
OF HOMES, ers,” Hensley said. “It’s its 133-turbine Western projects and the men and panels Barnett.
keeping electricity costs Plains wind farm in Ford women who live in the com- “Initially, they (Kansas
THOUSANDS

100
down and boosting the County in March, it became munities on a daily basis utilities) had to meet an
OF JOBS. industry.”
NextEra Energy
the third project owned by
the state’s largest utility,
and help operate and main-
tain the operations, and at
RPS of 10 percent by 2010,
15 percent by 2015 and 20

“T
he first quarter constructed the first which also has contracts manufacturing plants such percent by 2020,” Barnett
of 2017 was a utility-scale wind farm for power from eight others, as Siemens.” million LED bulbs said. “Obviously, they blew
very strong in Kansas for KCPL and according to the company. The average pay for a past that by 2015.”

1.3
three months for the wind the Sunflower Electric Later this year, Westar wind turbine technician In 2010, German multina-
Cooperative. will add a 1 MW solar instal- – identified by the U.S. tional Siemens AG, which
Today the lation in South Hutchinson, Bureau of Labor last month already had a blade-man-
state has pushing renewable sources as the fastest growing pro- ufacturing plant in Iowa,

million
a total to a third of its portfolio. fession in the country – is opened its turbine nacelle
capacity of A portion of Kansas’ $54,000 a year. Technicians manufacturing plant in
more than wind-generated power is can then move into man- Hutchinson, employing
4,930 MW of leaving the state under agement or more senior more than 350 people and
Farm & Ranch Equipment • Welding Supplies power. power purchase agreements positions. horses (horsepower) helping drive down the cost
Pipe & Steel • Dohickeys • Gadgets Last year, with at least three out-of- “It’s really an exciting of installing wind in the
Thingamajigs wind pro- state utilities, including the dynamic,” Hensley said. Source: U.S. Department U.S.
vided just Tennessee Valley Authority. The estimated wind of Energy Before, most nacelles
Wegele36 under 30 per- employment doesn’t include were manufactured over-
• Narrow Turning
• Single Blade
cent of all
the in-state $8.5 BILLION local engineers who help
design the sites or workers
seas, including in Germany,
China and Spain, and
• Maneuverability
• Low Maintenance
electricity INVESTMENT. who build and maintain the shipped to the U.S. at high
production, roads within wind farms, power purchase agreements cost.

“I
• Built Tough providing t’s always important Svaty said. signed in the first quarter Besides Siemens, there
• Simple
the equiva- not to think just Ninety-nine percent of of 2017, Hensley said, many were three other nacelle
lent power about the project, wind farms, which today are directly with commer- manufacturing plants in the
needs of 1.3 but also the economic are built to last 30 or more cial users and agencies, the U.S. – operated by Vesta in
million aver- employment impact on the years, are in rural areas, most since AWEA started Colorado, GE in Pensacola,
age homes. local economy,” Hensley with 70 percent in low-in- tracking such agreements Florida, and Phoenix Inc.,
On some said. “If you look at the full come regions, according to in 2013. in Massachusetts – as well
Mention this ad & receive days, said set of projects involved, it the AWEA. “We’ve seen a large as eight utility-scale turbine
$ 5 OFF
Terry Cox
5 gallons of AmerSeal®
tire sealant
Dorothy
Barnett,
executive
represents some $8.5 billion
in investment in the state.”
Also, since the majority
Accessibility to wind is
becoming a drawing card
to major U.S. corporations
volume of new contracts
signed, with a lot of
interest from non-utility
blade makers and nine
tower facilities, according
to the U.S. Department of
Larry Cox
director of of projects are built on pri- looking to turn to renew- and corporate purchases – Energy.
4649 Highway 40 - Box 169 the Climate vate property, landowners able energy. One Kansas Home Depot and Intuit and Some of the parts going
Grainfield, KS 67737 and Energy receive lease payments for project coming on line this TurboTax,” Hensley said. ” into nacelles – each turbine
Project, turbines on their ground. year will provide 178 mega- “We think the next big op- contains over 8,000 parts
785-673-4321 - Fax 785-673-4314 wind ac- “Those payments have watts of power to Microsoft, portunity for wind power is – still come from overseas,
OPEN: 8:00am-5:30pm M-F, 8am-Noon Sat. counted for grown to be a major con- although the company isn’t corporate wind purchases,” but that percentage has
www.grainfieldsupply.com upwards of tributor to farmers and physically located in the Barnett said. “There is a significantly decreased.
50 percent ranchers across the state,” state. lot of big national push
Skinnin’ & Grinnin’ Since 1945
of the Hensley said. “In 2016 alone, Of the 1,800 MW in new for large Fortune 500 and See WIND / 6
The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project May 2017 / 5

SIEMENS

Company begins integrating


new turbine into its production
By John Green that say “Siemens Gamesa.” New Kerry Baker moves a
Staff writer signage will also likely appear at the main shaft onto its
plant off Enterprise Drive, said Public side for assembly at
The massive rectangular steel box Information Officer Myca Welch. the Siemens nacelle
near the end of the moving line looked There is little other visible change
a little out of place amid a string of locally for the business, which con-
assembly plant May
the plant’s sleek, barrel-shaped tur- tinues to employ 360 people full-time, 11 in Hutchinson.
bines on the assembly line at Siemens along with temporary labor, on two Travis Morisse/
Wind manufacturing plant. shifts. Staff photographer
Otherwise, integrating serial pro- Besides production, jobs at the
duction of the new, larger SWT 2.3-120 Hutchinson plant include logistics, FIND MORE
turbine into operations at the six- maintenance, quality assurance,
year-old, 300,000-square-foot nacelle supply chain, finance, engineering,
ONLINE:
plant seemed like a natural progres- lean practices and environmental See video and
sion for an operation that has sent health and safety, said Siemens more photos
thousands of wind turbine nacelles North America spokesman Jeffrey and stories at
into open fields around the world. Grappone.
With the merger of Siemens Wind gatehousekansas.
and Spanish manufacturer Gamesa com/windfarm.
in April, workers at the Hutchinson
plant received new employee badges See SIEMENS / 7

Teamwork makes the job easier

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n NERC Compliance proficiency
Sharing our Expertise
Taking the lead in diagnostics, repair Call Jason Minalga to learn
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6 / May 2017 The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project

KANSAS’ BIGGEST WIND FARM OWNERS


NextEra Energy Resources (Fla) 20 percent

Enel Green Power North America (Massachusetts) 17 percent

Westar Energy 9 percent (Kansas)

BP Wind Energy (Texas) 6 percent

Autolist.com ranks Abilene


as one of the most affordable
Wind KANSAS WIND
IS ‘GOLD.’
lowers the cost of energy.
Two years ago, Congress
extended the Renewable
• From Page 4 Energy Production Tax

M
places in Kansas to buy a car. ore efficient Credit for five years. But
The study, which draws on H turbines, longer the amount of the credit
Abilene
more than 79 million vehicles In 2016, 85 percent of U.S.- blades and higher drops 20 percent annually
produced nacelle parts and towers that capture steadier until it expires in 2019.
and 4.5 billion unique 80 to 85 percent of towers winds drove down the That added a lot of stability
data points across vehicles were made in the U.S. price of producing wind, to the marketplace, the
of all makes and models The latest public data said Scott White, of the experts say.
available, from the U.S. Kansas Energy Information Kansas is in good shape
nationwide, shows that used Department of Energy, Network. when the PTC expires,
vehicles in Dickinson County shows turbine prices in “In the early 2000s, if you Hensley said.
are on average $609 less than Autolist.com (www.Autolist.com) is based in San Francisco and is the fastest
2015 ranged from $850 to got 30 percent efficiency “You already have a
$1,250 per kilowatt. That that was really good for a gold class wind source in
the Kansas average. growing mobile focused new and used car search engine.
was down from a high of wind farm,” White said. “ the state,” Hensley said
more than $1,500 per kW in Now they’re bumping 40 of Kansas. “We continue
2008. That means a 2.3 MW percent and the newest (tur- to see improvements in
turbine, the size produced bines) are near 50 percent. wind technology with
by Siemens, dropped from That’s pretty remarkable.” lighter materials, more
a high of $3.45 million each Swings in federal tax advanced systems in the
to a range of $1.9 million to credits supporting wind machines themselves,
$2.8 million. development also impacted measuring wind speeds
The “capacity-weighted development. They expired, more accurately to capture
average installed project then temporarily extended, as much as possible. Those
cost” in 2015, according sometimes retroactively, by advancements continue
to the DOE report, was Congress. to bring down costs of
roughly $1,690 per kW, Kansas saw a massive projects.”
down $640 per kW from its surge in wind development All of those factors have
peak. in 2013,before a tax credit combined to bring down the
Hensley, however, said expired. Development cost for utilities of buying
the cost of producing wind plunged the following year, wind power to its lowest
power today is down even then gradually increased. levels ever, making it com-
more, off 69 percent from The credit provides tax petitive with natural gas
2009, and experts project in- benefits to power companies and offsetting coal.
Holm Automotive Center dustry efforts will continue buying the energy, rather Said Barnett: “It’s really
to bring prices down before than to companies building the best economic choice
was just named the 2017 the PTC fully expires. the wind farms. But it still now for utilities.”
Kansas Dealer of the Year by
DealerRater.com for the 5th
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Buick and Cadillac! Dealer THE TOUGH GUY OF
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The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project May 2017 / 7

DID YOU KNOW?


Main components produced in Hutchinson:

Gearbox Main shaft Main Generator Bed plate


18 metric tons 14 metric tons, 3 bearing 6.4 metric 12 metric
meters in length, 2.9 metric tons, tons, supports
transfers energy tons, produces 2.3 the main shaft
from the hub to the machined to MW electric and gearbox
gearbox +/- 0.333mm, power, turns
supports end at 1,600 rpm,
Kerry Baker wipes of main shaft converts wind
down a main shaft at at the hub energy to
the Siemens nacelle electricity
assembly plant May 11
in Hutchinson. Hub
Photos by Travis Morisse/ 20 metric tons, transfers wind power from blades to
Staff photographer main shaft
Rotor blad des
blades
Rotor blades can swivel on the hub at the
front so they meet the wind at the best
angle, or pitch, for harvesting energy.

Centr drive shaft


Central
The sspinning rotors capture kinetic
energ
energy from the wind turning the central
drive shaft. Although the outer edges of
the rotor blades move very fast, the drive
shaft turns quite slowly.
Gear box
Inside the nacelle the gearbox converts
the low-speed rotation of the drive shaft
into high-speed rotation. (From about 16
rpm to about 1600 rpm.) Now fast enough The hubs of the nacelles are assembled at the Siemens
to drive the generator efficiently.
facility May 11 in Hutchinson.
Brake
Anemoneter
For safety reasons, during high wind or
turbulence the brake is applied to stop the The anemometer and wind vane
rotor blades from turning. The brake is also on the back of the nacelle
applied during routine maintenance. provides measurements of the
wind speed and direction.

Siemens which are prevalent in markets


within the Americas region,”
Grappone said.
Generator
• From Page 5 In addition, the design of
the new nacelle, with its larger,
The generator takes kinetic energy from
Yaw motor and yaw drive square steel body, is intended to
Using measurements from the
the spinning drive shaft and turns it into MARKING allow easier access to its compo-
electrical energy. Running at maximum
anemometer and wind vane the rotor
blades and nacelle can be rotated by a
capacity, a typical 2MW turbine generator ITS SEVENTH YEAR. nents the company stated.
Besides adding production

S
will produce 2 million watts of power at
yaw motor so it faces directly into the ince its October 2010 open- of a second turbine to its line,
about 700 volts.
oncoming wind and capture the ing, the Hutchinson plant the Hutchinson plant is looking
maximum amount of energy. has produced nearly 3,700 of for ways to make turbines that
the company’s SWT 2.3-108s − a increase wind farm efficiency.
The electric current produced 2.3-megawatt wind turbine that Called “repowering,” upgrades
by the generator flows through operates with 108-meter-long extend the life of existing tur-
a cable running down through blades. bines, many of which have been
the inside of the turbine tower. The newer product features operating on wind farms for
a larger rotor, accommodating decades.
120-meter, or nearly 394-foot, “Depending on length of
blades. service, overhauls could be ex-
FIND MORE ONLINE “The new turbine is developed
with an eye toward increasing
tensive – including replacement
blades, hubs and the drivetrain
See this graphic animated at energy production for sites with
gatehousekansas.com/wind medium- to low-wind conditions, See SIEMENS / 11
farm.
8 / May 2017 The Wind FacTor / a GaTehouse Kansas projecT The Wind FacTor / a GaTehouse Kansas projecT May 2017 / 9

Transmission system
Down to 13,800 volts Down to 110
110
Up to 345,000 volts or 220 volts
volts

Steel transmission Transformer Transformer


Lowers voltage for
for
towers Lowers the voltage for use in use in homes
Wind
Wind farm Transformer factories and large businesses
Power
Power generated
generated inside Raises the voltage to help the
the
the turbine
turbine is
is carried
carried by current travel a long distance
under
under ground
ground cables to
the
the transformer
transformer

Barriers remain to realize state’s full potential


it crosses. Kansas, Illinois “We presented a lot more this in their backyard. You
and Indiana officials have facts and evidence on how can’t build wind in Missouri
approved it, but the Missouri Missouri would benefit from and generate power for this
Public Service Commission the project. Specifically, we price.”
rejected the request in July have a group of customers in Lawlor compared the need
Obstacles include


There are a couple of potential barriers at 952 GW of installed capacity, which could power outside of that grid. 2015. That agency conducted Missouri that will take power and ability to move Kansas
to wind energy becoming all it can be in generate 3.64 million GWh of power – 90 further hearings in March off the line.” “native wind power” through

regulatory issues, Kansas, industry experts say.


Primary among them are limits to the
times the state’s current energy needs.
With growing turbine heights and continu- THE ‘GRAIN BELT EXPRESS.’
That’s a function of
just how cheap wind
and April of this year after
one developer, Clean Line
Those customers include
a group of 36 municipal
a pipeline to other parts of the
country to the movement of

limits to transmission is in Kansas and


transmission infrastructure that enables de- ing technological improvements enabling Energy, filed a renewed appli- electrical utilities who’d buy gas from the Hugoton Field of
livery of wind power outside the boundaries ever lower wind speeds, the state’s potential A Houston company has proposed building how valuable it is cation last August. 185 MW of the power from the western Kansas, or rail lines

infrastructure
of the Southwest Power Pool, and regulatory is likely even greater today. a series of high-voltage, direct-current trans- “We just completed the proposed 400 MW Iron Star to move wheat and cattle.
issues on the direct purchase of wind and “There are a couple of stages to wind mission lines crossing the country, including to other parts of the hearing and briefings last project being developed by “Certainly it’s a mar-
solar energy. development,” said John Hensley, deputy one called the Grain Belt Express. Running country that don’t week,” Marc Lawlor, vice Infinity Power in Ford County, ket-driven project,” he said.
director for industry data and analysis at the from southwest Kansas to Indiana, it would have this in their back president at Clean Line, said and the city of Hannibal, “We know there’s demand
By John Green
Staff writer
LOTS OF POTENTIAL. American Wind Energy Association. “You
have to have a good wind source and you
carry up to 3,500 MW of Kansas-produced
electricity east.
yard. You can’t build earlier this month. “Now it’s
in the hands of the commis-
which would buy 15 MW.
“This wind, plus the
there, which is why develop-
ers put money into developing
wind in Missouri and
have to have transmission.” “By the end of this year, we’ll have 5,000 sion to render a decision.” transmission, would save this project. We do have one
Studies show Kansas, in the center of a Efforts over the past decade have improved MW (of wind),” said Dorothy Barnett, ex- generate power for There is no set timeframe their ratepayers $10 million other deal for a retail provider
national wind belt, has the second highest and expanded the transmission system that ecutive director of the Climate and Energy this price.” for the board to issue an order, per year, every year, in oper- in Illinois, but the bulk of the
potential for wind power in the United Kansas belongs to, allowing delivery of more Project. “If that line gets approved, we’re but Lawlor expected one by ations,” Lawlor said. “That’s line is still to be subscribed.”
States, behind only Texas. wind power within the Southwest Power talking 3,500 MW more from western Kansas. June. a function of just how cheap The company conducted an
That’s based on how much of the state re- Pool. The SPP grid serves parts of 14 states That line is expected to create $2 billion in “Our case was notably wind is in Kansas and how “open solicitation process” a
ceives wind speeds averaging at least 16 mph in the central U.S., but primarily five states economic benefit to the state directly, and different than the last valuable it is to other parts of
at 50 meters high, in areas both technically from North Dakota south into the northern another 8 to 10 billion dollars in capital in- application,” Lawlor said. the country that don’t have See PRODUCTION / 14
and economically feasible for hosting wind edge of Texas. vestment. I think it would substantially open
turbines. While there is still opportunity to add the market.”
A 2010 estimate by the National Renewable more wind to the SPP system, tapping the Developing the 780-mile-long powerline re- Brad Vest/Staff photographer
Energy Laboratory put the state’s potential state’s full potential will require exporting quires regulatory approval in all of the states A lone Vestas Wind Turbine next to a construction crane is seen Jan. 28, 2009, in Marienthal at sunset.
8 / May 2017 The Wind FacTor / a GaTehouse Kansas projecT The Wind FacTor / a GaTehouse Kansas projecT May 2017 / 9

Transmission system
Down to 13,800 volts Down to 110
110
Up to 345,000 volts or 220 volts
volts

Steel transmission Transformer Transformer


Lowers voltage for
for
towers Lowers the voltage for use in use in homes
Wind
Wind farm Transformer factories and large businesses
Power
Power generated
generated inside Raises the voltage to help the
the
the turbine
turbine is
is carried
carried by current travel a long distance
under
under ground
ground cables to
the
the transformer
transformer

Barriers remain to realize state’s full potential


it crosses. Kansas, Illinois “We presented a lot more this in their backyard. You
and Indiana officials have facts and evidence on how can’t build wind in Missouri
approved it, but the Missouri Missouri would benefit from and generate power for this
Public Service Commission the project. Specifically, we price.”
rejected the request in July have a group of customers in Lawlor compared the need
Obstacles include


There are a couple of potential barriers at 952 GW of installed capacity, which could power outside of that grid. 2015. That agency conducted Missouri that will take power and ability to move Kansas
to wind energy becoming all it can be in generate 3.64 million GWh of power – 90 further hearings in March off the line.” “native wind power” through

regulatory issues, Kansas, industry experts say.


Primary among them are limits to the
times the state’s current energy needs.
With growing turbine heights and continu- THE ‘GRAIN BELT EXPRESS.’
That’s a function of
just how cheap wind
and April of this year after
one developer, Clean Line
Those customers include
a group of 36 municipal
a pipeline to other parts of the
country to the movement of

limits to transmission is in Kansas and


transmission infrastructure that enables de- ing technological improvements enabling Energy, filed a renewed appli- electrical utilities who’d buy gas from the Hugoton Field of
livery of wind power outside the boundaries ever lower wind speeds, the state’s potential A Houston company has proposed building how valuable it is cation last August. 185 MW of the power from the western Kansas, or rail lines

infrastructure
of the Southwest Power Pool, and regulatory is likely even greater today. a series of high-voltage, direct-current trans- “We just completed the proposed 400 MW Iron Star to move wheat and cattle.
issues on the direct purchase of wind and “There are a couple of stages to wind mission lines crossing the country, including to other parts of the hearing and briefings last project being developed by “Certainly it’s a mar-
solar energy. development,” said John Hensley, deputy one called the Grain Belt Express. Running country that don’t week,” Marc Lawlor, vice Infinity Power in Ford County, ket-driven project,” he said.
director for industry data and analysis at the from southwest Kansas to Indiana, it would have this in their back president at Clean Line, said and the city of Hannibal, “We know there’s demand
By John Green
Staff writer
LOTS OF POTENTIAL. American Wind Energy Association. “You
have to have a good wind source and you
carry up to 3,500 MW of Kansas-produced
electricity east.
yard. You can’t build earlier this month. “Now it’s
in the hands of the commis-
which would buy 15 MW.
“This wind, plus the
there, which is why develop-
ers put money into developing
wind in Missouri and
have to have transmission.” “By the end of this year, we’ll have 5,000 sion to render a decision.” transmission, would save this project. We do have one
Studies show Kansas, in the center of a Efforts over the past decade have improved MW (of wind),” said Dorothy Barnett, ex- generate power for There is no set timeframe their ratepayers $10 million other deal for a retail provider
national wind belt, has the second highest and expanded the transmission system that ecutive director of the Climate and Energy this price.” for the board to issue an order, per year, every year, in oper- in Illinois, but the bulk of the
potential for wind power in the United Kansas belongs to, allowing delivery of more Project. “If that line gets approved, we’re but Lawlor expected one by ations,” Lawlor said. “That’s line is still to be subscribed.”
States, behind only Texas. wind power within the Southwest Power talking 3,500 MW more from western Kansas. June. a function of just how cheap The company conducted an
That’s based on how much of the state re- Pool. The SPP grid serves parts of 14 states That line is expected to create $2 billion in “Our case was notably wind is in Kansas and how “open solicitation process” a
ceives wind speeds averaging at least 16 mph in the central U.S., but primarily five states economic benefit to the state directly, and different than the last valuable it is to other parts of
at 50 meters high, in areas both technically from North Dakota south into the northern another 8 to 10 billion dollars in capital in- application,” Lawlor said. the country that don’t have See PRODUCTION / 14
and economically feasible for hosting wind edge of Texas. vestment. I think it would substantially open
turbines. While there is still opportunity to add the market.”
A 2010 estimate by the National Renewable more wind to the SPP system, tapping the Developing the 780-mile-long powerline re- Brad Vest/Staff photographer
Energy Laboratory put the state’s potential state’s full potential will require exporting quires regulatory approval in all of the states A lone Vestas Wind Turbine next to a construction crane is seen Jan. 28, 2009, in Marienthal at sunset.
10 / May 2017 The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project

Turbines churn with purpose


for western Kansas schools
By Roger Bluhm with an enrollment of little payments in 2007 on the
Staff writer more than 350. “It’s been a first phase of the wind
good agreement for us.” farm. KCPL forged a similar
The wind provides more Payments from KCPL agreement with six other
than electricity for students to USD 381 began in 2011 Ford County agencies in 2010
in the western Kansas at $121,974. According to during the second phase of
schools of Spearville and the agreement between construction at the Spearville
Cimarron. the school and the utility wind farm.
Unique agreements have company, payments continue The 5,000-acre Kansas City
provided long-term solutions until 2041 and increase each Power & Light Spearville
for those schools in a time of the 30 years. Wind Energy Facility opened
where funding appears ques- About 35 miles west on U.S. in 2006, as a $160 million,
tionable in many districts. 400, Cimarron-Ensign USD 100.5-megawatt wind farm
USD 381, the Spearville 102 received about $370,000 with 67 turbines that produce
School District, negotiated this past year from wind- enough electricity to power
with Kansas City Power and farm developers in Gray 33,000 homes.
Light to accept payments in County. The GE Energy 1.5-mega-
lieu of taxes in the town of USD 102 Superintendent watt wind turbines are
fewer than 800 people that’s Mike Stegman calls it a “gift” mounted on 80-meter towers
home to Kansas’ third-largest to the district of fewer than and feed an underground
wind farm. 650 students. electrical collection system.
“We had a board member “As a gift, it could stop at The turbines at the
who was behind it,” said any time,” Mike Stegman Spearville Wind Farm are
Daryl Stegman, superinten- said.
dent of Spearville schools, USD 381 began receiving See SCHOOLS / 15

Earn a
WIND ENERGY
CERTIFICATE Above: An aerial
view of wind
turbines around
online in just Spearville, as
two semesters! seen April 11.
Sandra J. Milburn/
Staff photographer

CLASSES Left: Wind


ARE FORMING turbines
surround
NOW! Spearville, as
seen from the
baseball field.
Contact: Derek Reilley, Wind Energy Program Director Travis Morisse/
Staff photographer
derek.reilley@colbycc.edu
(888) 634-9350, ext. 5431
The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project May 2017 / 11

Siemens headquarters are in Spain


– where Gamesa has been
producing turbines since
manufacturers. It reaches
more than 90 countries on
five continents, leading
to a report in Windpower
Monthly.
The company credited a
NEXTERA ENERGY
YEARS OF RESEARCH MAKE FARMS A REALITY
• From Page 7 1995. Its stock is regis-
tered with the Mercantile
products in both onshore
and offshore wind devel-
$1.52 billion offshore wind
farm deal for its 7MW
Registry of Biscay in opment, according to the turbines among its largest By Josh Arnett wind speed and force, which
– or delivering only a Spain. company. orders. Staff Writer can be affected by altitude,
few main replacement It will take up to two Siemens wind has a The company’s wind trees and buildings, and air
parts,” Grappone said in years to integrate the strong market in North and renewables revenues Before you can build a wind temperatures.
an email. work for both companies. America and Northern grew 4 percent to almost farm, you first have to find the NextEra gathers data for
There are currently Markus Tacke became Europe, while Gamesa $1.66 billion from $1.6 bil- wind. at least one year, and up to
nearly 6,000 Siemens the company’s chief exec- is well positioned in lion in the same period in That might sound easy, espe- five years, while figuring out
turbines installed in the utive officer last week by a emerging markets, such 2016. Profits were also up cially in Kansas. But for wind monthly and yearly averages.
U.S., capable of producing unanimous appointment as India, Latin America about 13 percent, to $163.9 farms, any breeze won’t do. It’s an important process,
renewable power for more from the board of direc- and Southern Europe. million. Companies looking to invest in because utility-scale wind
than 4.2 million house- tors of Siemens Gamesa For its first quarter, wind energy spend years scout- turbines can carry a price tag
holds per day. Renewable Energy.
Tacke, who has more $3.4 BILLION IN Gamesa’s wind turbine
business saw increased
ing the right locations.
NextEra Energy, which has
of $3 to $4 million each before
installation.
MERGER. than 20 years’ experience ORDERS. revenues of 48 percent, to invested in wind farm projects Companies generally look for
in the energy and power $1.54 billion, due primar- across Kansas, is consider- average wind speeds of at least

B
generation sectors, served oth companies ily to 40 percent growth in ing a wind farm project in 13 miles per hour. The math

B
efore the merger, for four years as CEO reported strong activity. McPherson County. The com- works out well in Kansas.
the Siemens Wind of Siemens Wind Power second quarters Overall, Gamesa pany set up two meteorological When a company decides
division – formed before the merger. He for 2017, which are pre- reported $109 million in towers in 2016 . to move forward with a wind
in 2004 when German replaced Ignacio Martin, merger operations. net profit, a 39 percent “This is exactly how these farm project, a process of
conglomerate Siemens who served as interim Orders for Siemens increase from the same plans start,” said Rebecca permits, site plans and public
AG acquired the then CEO. wind and renewables quarter last year. Rivera, a spokesperson for hearings begins.
24-year-old Bonus Energy The combination of soared 47 percent in Record quarterly NextEra Energy. A McPherson County project
– broke from Siemens as Siemens and Gamesa the second quarter, to revenues boosted prof- The towers help determine could see completion in 2018 or
a separate company. moves the joint company more than $3.39 billion, its, amounting to $1.68 how much energy can be pro- 2019, depending on how long
Siemens has 59 percent into the top four of the compared with just over billion− a 45 percent duced, and whether that output that process takes – assuming
ownership in the new world’s largest wind $2.39 billion in the same increase from the first justifies the cost. NextEra decides to pursue it
joint company, though its original equipment period last year, according quarter of 2016. Factors include average at all.

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12 / May 2017 The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project

College trains workers for fast-growing job: wind techs


By Erin Mathews as safety procedures. He since through the ranks and are Wind Energy Association’s in wind turbine blade repair. greasy and dirty, and climb
Staff writer has learned a thing or two now in charge of hiring. They seal of approval. It also offers a certificate in wind turbines that are 270
about computer networking. often call Graham to see if Graham said CCCC and electrical substations – which feet or more; they have to
CONCORDIA – Bruce Graham started in 2006 there are newly minted wind Iowa Lakes Community every wind farm has – and is work in confined spaces, and
Graham could be considered teaching a night class to four technicians available to hire. College in Estherville, Iowa, launching a new certification they have to do all that work
the real wind beneath the students. Graham said 100 percent have a friendly debate going and degree program in small safely,” Graham said.
blades of many of the tur- “Things built pretty of the program’s graduates about which college was first unmanned aircraft systems Graham makes sure his
bines spinning in Kansas. quickly after that,” Graham who have sought employment in the nation to offer a wind – the type of drones used to students have the wide array
When he noticed an adver- said. “Now we offer 30 dif- in the field have found a job. energy technology program. inspect wind turbine blades, of knowledge they need to
tisement that Cloud County ferent classes with multiple Starting wages are $18 to $21 “They had their building power lines and substations. work in wind energy.
Community College was sections. In the fall, we’ll have an hour with benefits, and and students first, but we got He said most of the “It’s different from a lot
looking for someone to start 110 students.” technicians willing to work Board of Regents approval college’s graduates work in of industries because every
a wind energy technology The wind energy program overtime make even more. first,” he said. “They just operation and maintenance at one of our students has to
program more than a decade now has six full-time faculty “We have students who made it work a little faster.” one of the many wind farms know every one of these
ago, Graham thought the op- and the largest enrollment make $110,000 a year,” he Graham said CCCC is in Kansas. The pay is good, areas: electrical, hydraulics,
portunity sounded exciting. of any curriculum offered at said. “That’s not bad for a the only college in Kansas but the work can be physically mechanical, computer
A high school teacher at CCCC, Graham said. 19- or 20-year-old student just offering either a one-year and mentally demanding. networking and safety,” he
the time, he had experience About 700 Cloud County getting started.” certification program in wind “I tell the students I don’t said. “They’re often working
teaching most of the various graduates are working at CCCC was a pioneer in energy technology or a two- want to sugarcoat anything in remote locations, and you
skill sets a wind technician wind farms all over Kansas, wind energy education. The year wind energy associate – they’ll be out working in can’t climb to the top of a
must have to do the job – across the nation and in other college’s program is one of of applied science degree. the heat in summer and in wind turbine and find out it’s
electrical, hydraulic and countries, he said. Many of only eight in the nation that It is the only school in the the cold in winter; they’ll a hydraulics problem and say,
mechanical systems, as well them have worked their way have received the American nation offering certification have to lift heavy objects, get ‘I don’t do hydraulics.’ “


We have students who make $110,000 a year. That’s not bad for a 19- or 20-year-old student just getting started.”

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The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project May 2017 / 13

Can industry’s momentum be sustained? Waverly prospers as wind


By Chance Hoener the night in large batteries. be 20 years before we begin turbine.
propels electricity to KC
Staff writer Criticism of these losing access to affordable
By Susan Welte
While discussing the de-
techniques has come from
national anti-wind groups,
coal and gas, and by then,
cheap, capable batteries POWER PLAY. Staff Writer
in Houston, Texas. The com-
pany is the third-largest wind
velopment of a 200-turbine saying wind energy isn’t will be developed for wind producing company in the

D
wind project, Gov. Sam as clean as it claims. They and solar energies. istributiont provides WAVERLY − Cattle, crops world and has 37 wind farms
Brownback joked in 2016 contend it simply exports But for now, coal is still another issue with and wind turbines live in har- in the U.S., Cheever said.
about Kansas becoming the fossil-fuel pollution coming king in Kansas. wind energy. High- mony in this town of 700. “The cost of our fuel is free
“Saudi Arabia of Wind.” from diesel generators and Kansas electricity rates voltage transmission lines About 30 miles east of from the wind,” Cheever said.
Now it looks like the equipment used to mine – on average – are slightly are needed to take power Emporia in Coffey County, “It’s good for the environ-
state may be headed the materials for the batteries. lower than surrounding from lightly populated ar- about halfway between Wichita ment, it’s sustainable. Wind
direction of becoming to Joe Spease, president states, in large part be- eas where wind is plentiful, and Kansas City, the 24,000-acre will never run out, like some
wind energy what Arab and CEO of WindSoHy – cause of the proximity of to more densely populated Waverly Wind Farm project of our traditional power
states are to oil production. an Overland Park-based the state to Wyoming coal areas, where electricity is got underway in early 2015. It sources could. ”
Kansas is second only renewable energy project fields. needed. became commercially opera- Waverly Wind Farm has a
to Texas in wind-energy firm – and Sierra Club Coal-fired power plants The V-plan power line tional in January 2016. 20-year power purchase agree-
growth. Kansas Chapter energy generated 54 percent of the connecting Ford County “It’s a pretty good spot for ment with Kansas City Power
“Right now, wind is the chair, said wind power state’s electricity in 2015. with Wichita and Kansas demand,” said Pat Cheever, and Light Company, their only
cheapest new energy that stands on the brink of The state’s single nuclear City, made development operations manager for the client. KCP&L offers electric-
can be generated,” said solving its problems. plant – Wolf Creek – pro- for a lot of wind farms farm. “We also find it to be ity to 800,000 customers in the
Dr. Ruth Douglas Miller, “Batteries are dominat- duced 19 percent of the possible. a pretty good area in terms Kansas City area.
professor of electrical and ing storage right now, but state’s electricity, which The recently completed of the ratio of pasture to The farm’s 95 wind
computer engineering and it’s too expensive to have has raised questions about Cimarron Bend farm pro- agricultural land.” turbines can produce 199
resident wind expert at 500 megawatts of storage what power source is the duces 400 megawatts and About 100 landowners here megawatts − enough energy
Kansas State University. for a big wind plant,” best for the future. will supply power not only have leased ground to the for 55,000 average Kansas
“Utility companies are go- Spease said. “There’s an ex- to the Kansas City Board company for wind turbines. homes in a year, Cheever
ing where the money is.”
But many are still con-
tremely simple and reliable
technology called CAES NEGATIVE of Public Utilities, but also
to Google.
“We are able to farm right
up close to the turbines,” Joan
said. Five to six hours of one
machine running is enough
cerned about the impact about ready to take off. IMPACTS. “A lot of the transmis- Steward, a local landowner to power a single average
of wind farms on the “Theoretically, with sion work is being done who has two turbines on the household for the year.

C
state’s environment and its CAES a wind plant can ritics say wind proj- privately by electric family’s 320 acres of farm- Gary Preedy moved back
people. compete with coal and nat- ects do have an effect companies that want wind land, said. “There’s really to Waverly from Meade six
One of the biggest ural gas on production and on the environment – power,” Spease said. “If no difference in what we do. years ago because of the
concerns is what happens have electricity all day.” both the state’s people and private companies and the Once it was built and the heavier rainfall for their
when the wind isn’t blow- CAES – or Compressed its wildlife. Wind turbines state can create a smart grass was replanted, the cattle ranch. The couple has seven
ing. Air Energy Storage – are noisy and unsightly, plan for development, we could go right up next to it.” turbines on their 1,600 acres.
works by using excess they say. can easily power the whole Steward and her husband, “The worst thing about it
FIRMING THE energy from wind at night
to produce compressed air.
Groups like the Protect
the Flint Hills have stated
state with the cheapest,
cleanest electricity.”
LeRoy, have lived in the
same farmhouse since 1958.
was probably the construc-
tion phase, which I’m sure
FUTURE. The air is forced into a wind development in the Part of the attraction Although they no longer farm was kind of tough,” Preedy
geographic fixture like a Flint Hills region will comes from tax credits tied themselves, they rent out the said. “Back here was proba-

A
lthough extensive cavern and stored until damage the last remaining to development in the indus- acreage to other farmers. bly one of the wettest years
work goes into the day when electricity is tallgrass prairie in the try, which could ensure that Steward said she doesn’t see they chose to come in, and
properly siting needed. When needed, the U.S., as well as be a burden projects continue for years. why landowners “wouldn’t be it was super muddy, a lot of
wind farms – looking at compressed air is released to wildlife – killing birds Companies are finding cooperative” with the wind rain. It was quite a process, a
average wind, the impact through a smaller jet and disrupting the ecosys- out just how cheap the energy company. bigger process.”
on the surrounding area turbine to produce extra tem. wind is in Kansas, and they “It’s never been a very big Preedy and his wife,
and more – fluctuating electricity. “The Audubon Society are lining up to sign con- inconvenience,” Steward Sherry, have about 100 acres
wind speeds can affect the Spease said with CAES has put out there that tracts. Business are paying said. “We were always able to of cropland, which rotates
amount of energy a tur- systems, wind farms climate change is doing 2 cents per kilowatt hour utilize and rent the pasture for growing corn, beans,
bine is able to produce. along the wind corridor – more damage to birds and – 2 cents cheaper than the and all of that, even though and wheat. “It provides a
This issue has led many stretching from Minnesota wildlife than wind turbines average wholesale price, there was construction, sustained income for farmers
projects to look at storing and the Dakotas, through ever could,” Spease said. Miller said. because they put up fenced who have ups and downs in
unneeded energy from western Kansas and “And cats kill something “Kansas has done an areas for us to keep cattle their incomes, based on how
high winds at night, and Colorado, to Texas – could like 1,000 times more birds excellent job building in. If they had to take out their crop yields,” Cheever
using it during peak day- produce enough wind than wind turbines.” out with wind, and it has some crops, which they did said. The company also pays
time consumption. energy to power the United Spease also stated helped that our wind is so a little bit last year, they paid annual taxes to the county,
The process, often called States. “Eventually we are said a study done on much cheaper than any- us for the acreage that was which were $497,500 in 2015
“firming” the wind, can going to run out of cheap Pete Ferrell’s Ranch in where else,” Miller said. damaged. They’ve been very and $507,450 in 2016.
be done in a few ways. coal and gas,” Miller said, Beaumont, Kansas – which “Companies like Wal-Mart, fair with us.” The extra incomed helped
Common firming tech- “so companies are using has embraced wind energy Amazon and Google that The wind farm is owned avoid having to consolodate
niques include using small, those while they can to – only found one bird over want to use renewable en- and operated by EDP Lebo and Waverly schools,
bio-diesel generators to better develop renewable a two-year period that ergy are coming to Kansas Renewables, a clean energy said Christina Van Arsdale-
manually turn turbines, or technology.” could be confirmed to have because it’s the cheapest on company based Madrid, Tyson, with Waverly Wind
storing excess energy from Miller said it will likely died from a collision with a the market.” Spain, with U.S. headquarters Farm.
14 / May 2017 The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project

Production Kansas wind farms Lawlor said.


“They have the land, they
have local permits, but they
a utility, we’re a regulated
state and there is a barrier
to letting business buy wind
• From Page 9 Goodland
don’t have the market for
it,” he said.
power directly from the
wind farms.”
Manhattan The Grain Belt Express is An organization called
couple of years ago to show Topeka Kansas a $1 billion project, Lawlor the Retail Industry Leaders
City
how much interest there Salina Lawrence said, which will support $7 Association ranked all 50
Hays
was in the power. billion in new wind devel- states on how easy it was
“It’s a FERC (Federal opment. for its members to access
Emporia
Energy Regulatory Great Bend “Transmission is the renewable energy to meet
Commission) regulated lynchpin for Kansas moving clean power goals. Iowa
process to identify interest,” Hutchinson forward,” Lawlor said. led the index rankings,
Garden City
Lawlor said. “They want which are based on 15 indi-
Wichita
to know if there is interest
from suppliers and off-tak- Dodge CORPORATE cators in three categories.
Oklahoma, Virginia and
ers. When we did that, we City
ACCESS. North Carolina joined Iowa
had eight times the amount as the only states with

T
of capacity notice of inter- he Renewable Energy measurable renewable
est. That tells us there is JH/The News Buyers Alliance deployment through both
strong demand.” Annual average wind speed at 80 meters recently reported direct utility purchases
Before they can negotiate 21.25 mph 20.13 mph 19.01 mph 17.87 mph 16.77 mph 15.66 mph 14.54 mph that that commercial and and offsite power purchase
agreements, however, Sources: Kansas Energy Information Network, U.S. Department of Energy, American Wind Energy Association and the Climate & Energy Project
industrial buyers – like agreements.
Lawlor said, the company Google, Amazon and Target Kansas was ranked 21st.
needs approval by regula- into construction,” Lawlor milestones that need to underway.” – accounted for more than “Even though Kansas
tors. said. “It will be a good 6 to happen.” Unlike other transmission half of all signed wind en- has a great wind resource,
“It’s hard to get a contract 9 months of negotiation to “The Missouri decision that’s recently been built ergy purchase agreements overall our rating was 21st
for a product when you get the capacity we need. is a critical threshold, but or upgraded in Kansas, around the U.S. in 2015, because we don’t have the
don’t have permission to There’s a bunch of stuff after that we have oceans of Clean Lines projects are not pushing that market above 5 kind of policy to make it
provide it,” he said. going on simultaneously, work to get things in con- paid for directly by Kansas GW for contracted wind and easy to do,” Barnett said.


If approved by Missouri, such as environmental per- struction mode,” he said. ratepayers and other cus- solar power. “In part it’s
“the marketplace will mitting, financing for the “It will be close to a year to tomers in the SPP, but are There are to ensure
decide how soon we get project, other development see that kind of activity gets “merchant lines” paid for by significant I think that more and more power is sold
the buyers and sellers of the barriers, we see businesses wanting by utilities,

2017 Visitors Guide


power, Barnett noted. however, to access clean energy, but other
The Grain Belt Express to making and I think Kansas is regulated
isn’t the only Clean Line it easy for states have
poised to take advantage
Energy project that could companies to figured out
Hutchinson | South Hutchinson | Reno County Kansas impact southwest Kansas. enter those of that new market growth. ways to com-
A project starting in agreements, Certainly for cheap wind, pensate the
Oklahoma that will take with states but also solar power. utilities for
wind energy to Memphis, varying Kansas is a top 5 solar re- selling the
called the Plains and widely on
source if we can insure that power.”
Eastern, would also tap regulatory She cited
wind in Kansas near the policies solar has an opportunity to Utah as
border. enabling such continue to grow.” another
That project, which sales. example.
is being developed in “I think “There,
partnership with the U.S. that more and more we they buy the electricity
Department of Energy see businesses wanting to from the wind farm, but
and has all the necessary access clean energy, and they pay the utility to use
regulatory approvals, was I think Kansas is poised its transmission distribu-
included as one of the to take advantage of that tion system to get it there,”
potential infrastructure new market growth,” said she said. “The businesses
projects highlighted as Barnett, of Climate and are able to negotiate for
a priority by the Trump Energy. “Certainly for cheap price more.”
administration. wind, but also solar power. “The availability of retail
“We’re working on getting Kansas is a top 5 solar re- choice,” the study noted, “is
commercial contracts in source if we can insure that a critical factor for a state’s
place for that,” Lawlor said. solar has an opportunity to attractiveness to corporate
This Visitors Guide is published by the Greater Hutchinson Convention/
“There’s still some uncer- continue to grow.” and other large institu-
Visitors Bureau (CVB), a division of the Hutchinson/Reno County tainty out there, but getting One of the reasons tional buyers of (renewable
Chamber of Commerce. Please contact us for additional information recognized as a national Facebook selected Nebraska energy). … States that wish
about our assistance with a group tour, convention, or similar event. priority project is great. It’s for a new data center, to gain the job creation
really helpful. Not just for Barnett said, is that it could and economic development
117 North Walnut • Hutchinson, KS 67501 the Great Plains project, but directly buy wind there. benefits of corporate RE-
it proves the concept.” “Nebraska Public Power powered facilities should
620-662-3391 • 800-691-4262 All of the wind that created a new tariff so encourage their policymak-

www.visithutch.com
would go on either line is it could buy the wind,” ers and regulators to enable
from projects yet to be built, Barnett said. “If you are not customer choice.”
The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project May 2017 / 15

Schools allowed the district to build


its gym, which opened just a
couple of years ago.
the cost.
The Cimarron-Ensign
district is putting the money
GARDEN CITY
HUB DELIVERING PARTS FOR 500 MILES
• From Page 10 “It was a big relief
knowing the community
from the wind farms into a
savings account and likely By Scott Aust heads that turn the rotors, component business but
approved the bonds for the will use it for future capital and tower pieces – are will provide an economical
designed to turn on when the gym,” Daryl Stegman said. expenditures to take care of
Staff writer delivered from TP&L via and efficient means of
wind speed reaches 8 miles “We had the money to cover district facilities. GARDEN CITY − The trucks to construction transporting aggregate ma-
per hour, at which point the the bonds, so there were But no specific projects huge blades that power sites in Kansas, Colorado, terial for KDOT and other
blades will rotate about 10 no increases for district have been identified yet. wind turbines cast impos- Nebraska and as far away street and road projects in
times per minute. residents.” “Right now, we’re explor- ing figures while rolling as Wisconsin. western Kansas.
In 2010, Ford County While the influx of cash is ing options, but we’re not down the highway on TP&L President Jim Orr It will be used as a
approved a proposal from more immediate for USD 381, far enough down the road their way to a construc- said in an August interview location for rail-to-truck,
Topeka’s Westar Energy to it is an agreement with time for me to say we’re going tion site. that the company chose and vice versa, product
build Spearville’s second limits. to do this or do that,” Mike There’s a good chance, if Garden City because it’s shipping.
wind farm, a much larger “Both of these projects Stegman said. “We’re trying those parts are headed to a dead-center in the wind Orr said last fall that
500-megawatt facility in a – the lighting and the to determine what will best wind farm in the Midwest, belt, a swath of the country the project will expand the
community where where gymnasium – are long-term serve our communities and they’re coming from a that runs roughly from New operaton to well over 600
turbines rise up like giants fixes for issues we needed the kids in the district.” truck that started in Finney Mexico to Louisiana and acres.
overlooking Main Street and to address,” Daryl Stegman So far, he hasn’t heard County. Texas to Canada. Finney County Economic
a brick church sits in the said. “It’s different than tax anyone complain about wind Transportation Partners TP&L started on 10 Development Corp.
shadow of churning blades. money, but only for a limited energy in the community. & Logistics is an offloading acres in 2011 and, in just Executive Director Lona
The money received by the time. “I’ve lived in western and distribution site for five years, grew to cover DuVall said the county
schools has literally lit up “The best we can do is use Kansas my whole life, and it wind generation compo- 240 acres, keeping turbine has certainly received its
the district. this money wisely to address doesn’t bother me to look at nents, and it operates on blades, tower sections, own share of wind-related
“The first thing we did issues the district has now, windmills, or see the utiliza- Jennie Barker Road and generators and other com- benefit due to the presence
was to change all the light- or will have in the immedi- tion of the wind that we’ve U.S. Highway 50, serving ponents on site. of TP&L.
ing throughout the district,” ate future,” he said. lived in for years. It’s a great the wind farm industry in The company has added It has also paid off for
Daryl Stegman said. “It’s Stegman said the district resource,” Mike Stegman a 500-mile radius of Garden more space in the past six area wind farm develop-
something we needed to do, is looking into a tornado said. “It should be good for City. months with the creation ment, DuVall said, through
was to make all the lighting shelter for the elementary us.” All of the parts that make of a new transload shipping a reduction in equipment
energy-efficient.” school, but may not use Contributing: Scott Aust, up the giant windmills – center that serves not transportation and storage
Later the payments wind-farm funds for all of Garden City Telegram. blades, hubs, the machine only the company’s wind costs.

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16 / May 2017 The Wind Factor / A GateHouse Kansas project

30%
of your energy
comes from
the wind.
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