Articles from Kansas

Windmills Over a Pump Jack

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.
4 Oct 2006

State’s energy policy proves frustrating for officials

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.”
2 Oct 2006

Candidates agree: State energy may be due for change

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.
1 Oct 2006

Officials show little interest in call for coal moratorium

TOPEKA - House Utilities Chairman Carl Holmes, R-Liberal, expects five coal-burning power plants planned for Kansas in the next few years will be the last built in the state, given federal concerns over global warming and air pollution. But Holmes doesn't see a need for a moratorium on the new plants as requested by the Sierra Club this week. "What do we gain by doing that?" he asked during a break at a state-led renewable energy conference in Topeka. "I don't see this state putting in tougher standards than what's already on at the federal level."
29 Sep 2006

Sierra Club asks Sebelius for moratorium on coal-fired plants

TOPEKA, Kan. - Sierra Club wants Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to prevent the construction of new coal-fired electric plants and appoint a commission to study their potential environmental effects. The request Tuesday from the group's Kansas chapter was a response to plans by Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to build three generating plants that burn coal to produce power outside Holcomb in southwest Kansas.
26 Sep 2006

Planning board adopts four new amendments to wind farm resolution

The committee decided to include additional information to Section G, regarding decommissioning, restoration and abandonment for item No. 1 under letter AA. It will now state “Applicant shall submit a decommissioning plan describing the manner in which the CWEP will be dismantled and removed from the site at the end of its useful life. “All aboveground components of the CWEP shall be removed unless at the landowners request the land is left intact. Foundations shall be removed to the owner’s satisfaction unless the landowner allows for the access roads and or foundations to remain.”
26 Sep 2006

Windmills, conservation, etc.

Kansans interested in the future of energy in their communities will have an abundance of workshops available next week at the Kansas Renewable Energy Conference at the Ramada Inn in Topeka
24 Sep 2006

Credits help Utilities go green

Wind farms in Kansas, Nebraska and California will play a role in Colorado Springs Utilities’ compliance with a voter-approved mandate on renewable energy. But homes and businesses in Colorado Springs won’t be getting electricity produced by harnessing wind in those places. Instead, renewable energy credits will be logged into Colorado Springs Utilities’ books.
23 Sep 2006

Fair board considering ways to deal with rising energy costs

HUTCHINSON, Kan. - With this year's Kansas State Fair just ended, officials are already discussing ways to reduce quickly rising utility costs before next year's fair. Fair leaders said Monday they are considering several options for reducing the utility budget, including asking for more money from the Legislature, increasing rental prices for the fair's buildings and using alternative energy.
19 Sep 2006

Power potential - Kansas trailing other states in wind energy efforts

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack challenged regulators and utility companies in his state a few years ago to produce 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2010. The push, known as a renewable portfolio standard and other incentives, has helped develop Iowa into a national wind energy leader. With 135 giant wind turbines towering in the rural landscape of Wright and Hamilton counties and several other wind farms in north-central Iowa, the state has become the nation’s third-leading wind-energy producer behind Texas and California.
5 Sep 2006

Sunflower Electric proposes facility for SW Kansas

But Watkins said the real benefit of the center would be its economic impact on southwest Kansas, where alternative energy is becoming a major industry. Several biofuel plants are already under construction and wind farms are increasingly gaining traction. "The real benefit is rural development," Watkins said. "When the (rural) economy grows, our customer base grows. We're all connected at the hip."
26 Aug 2006

County wind-farm proposal discussed

Angela Krummel-Buzard, McPherson planning and zoning administrator, and C. Bickley Foster, a planning consultant, presented a proposal for the resolution pertaining to regulations regarding commercial and energy projects. The electric wind farm station regulation proposal was discussed during the McPherson County planning board and board of zoning appeals meeting Monday.
25 Aug 2006

Energy summit draws crowd to hear experts

Several audience members asked questions and made comments during the forum. Tyler McNeal, Stilwell, said the search for energy should not encroach on America's shrinking tall grass prairie, including in the Flint Hills of Kansas. "Tall grass prairie is considered one of the most important ecological systems in North America; that compares to the rain forest," McNeal said. "I'm concerned that this important, fragile ecosystem is threatened by the development, for instance, of industrial wind turbine complexes."
17 Aug 2006
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