Library from Kansas
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius proposed tax cuts for businesses and promised the state will be more aggressive in promoting energy conservation and wind power as she outlined her legislative agenda Wednesday night...........Sebelius also said her goal is to have wind provide 10 percent of the state’s electricity by 2010, doubling that figure by 2020. She said her proposed budget will contain money to allow for planning new transmission lines to deliver wind-generated electricity. “There’s no reason our state should not lead the nation in wind energy,” she said.
Enel SpA, Italy’s largest utility, said Friday it will build two wind farms in the United States and Canada with a combined capacity of 277 megawatts as part of a €4 billion (US$5.2 billion) investment in renewable energy. Enel said a 250 megawatt capacity wind farm will be built in Smoky Hills, Kansas, and a 27 megawatt plant in Newfoundland....
While green may have been a prominent color of the past holiday season, it’s also a color the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities is interested in for the future. In a work session prior to the regular meeting of the BPU Board of Directors Wednesday, the board heard about the specifics of a new contract signed by General Manager Don Gray committing to buy 25 megawatts of wind power capacity from TradeWind Energy,LLC, a Lenexa, Kan.-based wind farm developer.
Wind. Coal. Biodiesel. They are all buzzwords in discussions about the future of energy in Kansas. They are each also bound to play a role in some of the energy decisions made by the 2007 Legislature. While they bring many challenges, Rep. Carl Holmes, R-Liberal, who chairs the House Utilities and Energy Committee, says it is a rewarding process. “This is a very challenging time in the energy field in Kansas and nationally right now, but it’s also a very exciting time,” Holmes said. “This will impact the future of energy for our kids and grandkids.” Holmes’ words ring true for more than just himself. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius also says this is a key time for energy discussions in Kansas.
Three months after all 67 turbines of the Spearville Wind Energy Facility became active, the blinking red lights atop the towers have become a familiar site on the western Kansas landscape Construction, which began in April of this year, was able to be completed a month early.
Commissioners addressed another heated topic and took steps to make public research in the wind turbine lawsuit that they have been working on for the past few months. On March 3, Judge Tracy Klinginsmith asked for commissioners to provide more information on why they made their 2-1 decision to ban wind turbines in June 2004.
Parkinson said his focus so far has been on developing Kansas' energy industry, particularly ethanol and wind. Not only will this again make Kansas an energy exporting state, but it will help rural Kansas. " (Ethanol) is very exciting not just as an alternative source of energy, but also for its impact on commodity prices, its impact on the value of land in rural Kansas and the great boost it has the potential to provide for rural Kansas for many years to come." On wind power, he said the state needs to help with the development of the transmission lines through western Kansas and to get the Kansas Corporation Commission to approve rates friendlier to wind farm development. By 2011 or 2012, he expects western Kansas to feel the powerful effects of wind power on the economy. And that economic development will likely overflow to Wichita, he said.
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation has announced it has completed negotiations with TradeWind Energy for the purchase of 50.4 megawatts of energy generated by wind turbines at its Smoky Hills Wind Farm. The project site is located 25 miles west of Salina, just north of Interstate Highway 70 between Ellsworth and Lincoln.
While the idea may sound appealing on its surface, especially in a state like Kansas, where the wind seems ubiquitous, there are several problems with the proposal, said Steve Miller, Sunflower’s director of external affairs. The first misconception, Miller said, is that there is enough wind to provide enough electricity for the company’s customer base. “Wind is simply not a generating technology that meets the baseload demand,” Miller said. “There is no utility that has ever or could ever use wind for its baseload customers..... I know a project expecting wind generators to (act) as a substitute for coal generators is not realistic. Wind doesn’t blow all the time. It blows the most in June, when we need it the least and it blows the least in August, when we need it the most.”
"Energy will be a very key area," she said, with emphasis placed on production of wind power and ethanol. "That will be front and center."
This paper: • Lists key reasons why political leaders and regulators are facing problems when attempting to deal with wind energy. • Provides more information on the effort in Kansas to evaluate wind energy. • Identifies facts about wind energy that are often not taken into account by political leaders and regulators. • Comments on the efforts in Kansas to promote greater use of wind energy. • Outlines lessons for all government officials that can be learned from the efforts in Kansas.
Topeka — A proposed $3.6 billion coal-fired electric project in western Kansas would cause health and environmental problems for generations to come, opponents of the facility said Thursday. “We don’t need these outdated, pollution-generating plants,” Sarah Dean of Jefferson County said. But executives of Sunflower Electric Power Corp. said the 2,100-megawatt project near Holcomb complied with all environmental rules and would help the economy. “We need the power and we need the economic stimulus that will result from this project in rural Kansas,” said Earl Watkins, president and chief executive officer of Sunflower Electric.
Deb Colle, Delmore Township, presented a letter regarding the approved regulations to Gamesa's Commercial Wind Energy Project resolution written by Larry and Pat Weibert, Bonaville Township, to county commissioners during a recent Board of McPherson County Commissioners meeting. The letter's purpose was to convince county commissioners to keep the moratorium in place regarding wind farm turbines and for them to take more time to listen to what Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and officials from the Kansas Corporation Commission and the Department of Kansas Wildlife and Parks say about wind energy. The letter suggested commissioners should also consider those who will be affected by the wind turbines.
Courtesy photo A view from the air of the completed Spearville wind farm and its 67 turbines includes Main Street and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in the foreground.
The twinkling red lights of the Spearville Wind Farm look like a Christmas display at night, but Kansas City Power & Light isnÕt waiting until Christmas to celebrate. The company has invited the entire community of Spearville to attend a picnic to celebrate the completion of the new Spearville Wind Energy Facility.
Gamesa's Commercial Wind Energy Project resolution regulations were recently passed at a Board of McPherson County Commissioners meeting. Gamesa is considering the usage of 8,000 acres in McPherson County for the construction of a wind farm. Angela Krummel-Buzard, McPherson's planning and zoning administrator, reassured the commissioners of the proper procedures for prescribed burning in case a fire breaks out on the wind farm. A review of the resolution was needed for further questioning and to discuss two recent changes to the resolution. Steph Wiley, Gamesa's director of development, said Gamesa has several pending projects. She said the corporation has not made a decision on submitting a conditional-use permit for McPherson County.
The Kansas Energy Council (KEC) has scheduled a public hearing to receive input on its energy policy recommendations. The public hearing will be held October 13, 2006 , from 9:00 a.m. to noon , in the old Supreme Court hearing room at the Capitol, Room 313-S, 300 SW 10th Avenue , Topeka . “We’ve been reminded in the past couple of years about the importance of energy in our lives and our economy. I hope all Kansans with an interest in our state’s future will review the Energy Council’s recommendations and provide the Council with feedback,” said Governor Kathleen Sebelius.
We don’t mean to bash wind. There is nothing wrong with harnessing the wind for electricity production, and 1.5 MW per windmill is quite a lot of power – and even one-fifth of that is quite nice for a low- (but not zero-) polluting renewable source. But we need to be realistic. Wind power is a lot like hydropower. It is a good source. But, like hydro, which can never be found in flat Kansas, there are requirements of topography and climate for windmills to work. Searching for all locations, we will max out wind power in a few decades, and it will never satisfy more than a very small percentage of U.S. and world energy needs. Editor's Note: The monthly power output data provided by operating wind projects to the US Dept. of Energy on EIA-Form 906 records an average capacity factor of 29% for 2005.
Kansas legislators offered their takes on the state’s future energy policy at a panel discussion Tuesday during the state’s renewable energy conference. Rep. Josh Svaty, D-Ellsworth, has expressed frustration in the past with the Legislature’s unwillingness to pass bills that foster community-owned wind farms. During the panel’s discussion, Svaty grinned and glanced sideways at his colleagues as he told the audience that one major change would need to occur for the state to get behind community wind. “First, we need a new Legislature.”
Republican Jim Barnett thinks hydrogen could be a major player in Kansas’ energy future. Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius says the state should try incentives for contractors to build more energy-efficient housing. The candidates in this fall’s governor’s race offer different ideas for future energy needs and generation in Kansas. But both agree on Kansas’s current situation: The status quo must change. Both say Kansas must seek to depend less on energy created outside the state. They say clean-burning energy should be a priority and agree that global warming is a concern.