Construction on wind farms in Kansas has picked momentum in the second half of 2014 along with several other projects.
Kansas has 25 wind farms with the capacity for nearly 3,000MW of electricity, placing it among the top states in the nation. Four more wind farms with a capacity of about 475 MWs are under construction.
Six other wind farms have been approved for construction, with a total capacity of 1,800 MW according to applications to the Southwest Power Pool seeking to get on the electrical grid.
Among them is Western Plains, a wind farm near Spearville in Ford County being developed by Infinity Wind Power.
Developers must wait for the utilities to issue power purchase agreements. The wind farm will be built only if an agreement is issued and a developer wins the contract to supply the power, said, Matt Riley, CEO, Infinity.
In 2012, developers built facilities in Kansas generating 1,441 megawatts of energy in order to get their projects before federal tax incentives closed. Last year alone 250 more megawatts were added to the system.
This year developers get sufficient time as the federal production tax credit law was written. The tax credits expired last year, enabling developers start their projects in 2013, halt work for many months and then finish them later.
To qualify for the tax credits, the wind farms must be completed by 2016.
The utilities like the subsidy, but it’s really not critical to whether they buy wind-generated energy. Wind power is compelling because it is close to the lowest-price electricity and that price can be locked in for 20 years by contract, said, Riley.
It shows that here will be a market for wind energy even when projects no longer quality for the tax credit after 2016, concluded Riley.