Westar Energy will develop a wind farm that will produce up to 500 megawatts of wind energy. The company reached an agreement with Infinity Wind Power to be the project developer for the site.
Westar’s Vice President of Generation Construction Greg Greenwood said the wind dynamics around Spearville made the area very favorable and reach company criteria. Spearville is 17 miles northeast of Dodge City.
The Kansas Electric Transmission Authority is sponsoring to build a transmission line to travel north from Spearville. The transmission line will allow for the energy to be transferred to parts of northern Kansas. Another advantage, said Greenwood.
The finished transmission lines will determine when the wind farm can begin operating.
“We would plan to complete the first phase, about 200 MW, on the site in 2011 or 2012,” said Greenwood. “Depending on the pace of transmission build out, it is probably more likely to be 2012 or 2011.”
The City of Spearville has been called the “City of Windmills.”
Greenwood said Westar wind turbines will be different from the already existing wind farm operated by Kansas City Power and Light.
“The Spearville wind farm there today is a 100 MW site,” said Greenwood. “Also (they) use turbines smaller then what we would use. The number of the towers might not be significantly more than what is at the Spearville site today. With the megawatts we could have slightly more turbines and double the generating capacity in the first phase.”
Greenwood said project costs will be between $400 to $500 million and construction will bring jobs to the Spearville area.
“Once we get into the construction phase of the farm, it would be 100 to 200 construction jobs,” said Greenwood.
Up to 12 permanent jobs will be established on site once the wind farm is complete, said Greenwood.
A recent Kansas sanction requires electric companies to produce 10 percent of its energy from a renewable source.
In 2009, Westar completed construction for wind farms owned in Leoti, Kan. and Concordia, Kan.