Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced that Enel Green Power has begun construction work on a new 199 MW addition to the Cimarron Bend wind farm in Clark County, Kansas.
The $281.4 million expansion will consist of 74 wind turbines, will be responsible for over 250 temporary jobs and add 5-10 permanent operations and maintenance positions.
“Wind energy production has been an absolute win for our state, in terms of its benefits for the environment, Kansas business and residential consumers,” Governor Kelly said. “The Enel Green Power expansion is even more proof of Kansas’ appeal as one of the nation’s top wind energy producers. During this economic challenge, it’s important to recognize the value in the wind energy sector, which employs thousands of Kansans and contributes significant capital investment in our state each year.”
The 200 MW expansion alone is estimated to generate an additional $49 million in lease payments to local landowners and over $18 million in new revenue to fund schools and public services over its lifetime. When the addition is complete, Cimarron Bend will generate over 2.7 TWh total per year, equivalent to avoiding 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions.
“Kansas is uniquely positioned to be a regional and national leader in the development and expansion of renewable energy – particularly through wind power,” Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “Not only will this expansion create much-needed jobs in our state, but it will help move Kansas forward as we create innovation, grow businesses and foster an energy market that is affordable and efficient. I would like to thank Enel Green Power for its commitment to Kansas communities.”
The Cimarron Bend expansion will include support for Evergy’s Renewables Direct program and help fuel the development of new wind energy investment in Kansas. The program features a “green” tariff approved by the Kansas Corporation Commission in 2018 that allows companies, cities, universities and other commercial and industrial customers to offset some or all of their energy usage through a renewable source.
“As Kansas’ wind leader, Enel Green Power is proud to step forward to generate new jobs and economic growth for Kansas during this challenging time,” said Georgios Papadimitriou, Head of Enel Green Power in the US and Canada. “Most importantly, we remain firm in our commitment to protect the health and safety of our workers and host communities as we execute this expansion safely and sustainably.”
Kansas currently ranks No. 2 in the nation for wind energy production as a share of total electricity generation, according to the AWEA annual market report. In 2019, wind energy surpassed coal for the first time as the largest energy source for generating electricity in Kansas. Wind energy provided 41% of electricity generation in Kansas, the second-largest share for any state.