wind farm

As Wind Energy Thrives, So Does Its Waste Problem

Sep 4, 2019

Over the last two years, Rob Van Vleet has been slowly scrapping the last vestiges of Kimball, Nebraska’s first wind farm. The wind turbines are made to be sturdy, he said, but they don’t last forever — about 20 years.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service/File photo

Wind farms have been sprouting across Kansas horizons for nearly 20 years, planting ever-more-giant turbines capable of transforming breezes into clean-energy megawatts and remaking the plains-and-prairie landscape.

The rules about how close those towering structures can stand to a road, to a home, or to a property line vary by project and from one county after the next.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service/File photo

Sedgwick County commissioners approved a temporary ban this week on the development of commercial wind farms and solar energy systems in the county.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

One morning after the next, semi-trailer trucks get off Interstate 70 near Colby in west-central Kansas.

They haul parts of giant wind turbines in 150-foot-long sections, the pieces to the Solomon Forks wind farm and the next monumental phase of the Kansas bet on wind energy. The farm will plant 105 turbines in the prairie, each towering 250 feet high.

The project is one of a wave of wind farms under construction in Kansas that will add 20 percent more electrical generation to the state’s output.

Courtesy Photo

Landowners and local leaders on Tuesday celebrated the beginning of the construction of the Kingman Wind Energy Center. The site is near the city of Kingman, about 45 minutes west of Wichita.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and other leaders participated in the event, where they signed a 150-foot wind turbine blade that will be used in the project.

John DiDonato, vice president of wind development for Next-Era Energy Resources, says the project will help sustain Kingman County economically and provide clean, renewable energy for generations of Kansans to come.

Westar Energy To Finance New Wind Farm In Ford County

Dec 24, 2015
Joseph Novak / Flickr / Creative Commons

Westar Energy, Kansas' largest electricity provider, is financing a new wind farm in Ford County.

The California-based company Infinity Wind Power will construct a nearly 300-megawatt wind farm near Dodge City, Kansas. The $435 million project is expected to take about a year to complete.

Once the wind farm is operational, Westar Energy will take over, bringing the company’s total renewable energy output to 1,500 megawatts.

Part of the wind turbines used for the wind farm will be manufactured at the Siemens plant in Hutchinson.

surber, flickr Creative Commons

The Siemens plant in Hutchinson will soon provide more than 60 nacelles for a new wind farm in Oklahoma.  

David J Laporte, flickr Creative Commons

Westar Energy says it will buy energy from a new wind farm to be built in Pratt County.

The utility company announced yesterday that it will buy the energy from a 200-megawatt farm built for it by an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources.

The Ninnescah wind farm is expected to be built late this year or early next year and be operational by late 2016.

The company said in a news release that the new wind energy purchase will increase Westar's renewable energy commitment to nearly 1,300 megawatts.