Westar Expands Commitment To Kansas Wind Energy With 200 MW PPA

Kansas-based utility Westar Energy says it has expanded its commitment to wind power, having inked a deal to purchase the output from NextEra Energy Resources' 200 MW Cedar Bluff wind farm.

To be located in Ness and Trego counties, Kan., the new wind farm will boost Westar's renewable energy portfolio to nearly 1.1 GW.

Coincidentally, the utility says, the expansion of its renewable program happens as some older generating plants are ready to retire. Westar plans to retire two small natural gas units that have been serving customers for over a half-century at its Murray Gill Energy Center in Wichita. Those units provide a total of 85 MW of electricity.

‘These plants served our customers well for longer than expected, but they've reached a point where it is not cost effective to maintain them. It is good news that we can rely on wind resources to provide energy at competitive prices,’ says John Bridson, Westar Energy's vice president of generation.

‘We believe it is important to maintain a diverse mix of generation resources, and wind power helps us improve that diversity,’ he continues. ‘Customers want renewable energy choices, and today about 10 percent of the electricity they use is generated from renewable sources.’

The Cedar Bluff wind farm is expected to be online by the end of 2015.

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