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Energy and Environment
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Report: Kansas Among Fastest Growing Wind Markets

A new government report shows Kansas is among the largest and fastest-growing wind energy markets in the country.

The Energy Department says Kansas ranks third among all U.S. states in the percentage of in-state electricity generation from wind power.

The state installed more than 1,400 megawatts of new wind power capacity in 2012; Kansas' total capacity is now 2,713 megawatts.

The department says that Kansas now has enough capacity to generate more than 20 percent of its electricity from wind energy.

The agency's annual Wind Technologies Market Report says that in 2012, wind energy became the top source of new U.S. electricity generation for the first time.

On a related note, a federal regulator is saying that states like Kansas must take the lead in improving regional transmission systems to increase the movement of electricity from renewable resources such as wind.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member David Moeller visited Lawrence Tuesday.

Representative Tom Sloan had invited Moeller to meet with officials from other states and energy companies to discuss improving transmission systems.

Both Moeller and Sloan say the goal is to improve transmission grids, so that wind power from rural areas like western Kansas can move to places where the need for energy is greater.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission does not have the legal authority to regulate transmission grids; Moeller says states have to work together to improve them.