UtiliCorp United and FPL Energy officials today activated the first operational wind turbines at the largest wind farm ever constructed in Kansas.
The facility, which is owned and operated by FPL Energy, will supply electricity to UtiliCorp’s customers in two states.
Officials from the two companies energized several turbines during a ceremony attended by public officials and news media near Montezuma in southwestern Kansas. Construction of 170 turbines, each about 214 feet high, will be completed by the end of the year.
When complete, the wind farm will be capable of generating 110 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 30,000 homes. UtiliCorp is purchasing all the power produced at the wind farm.
“The electricity from this wind farm provides an important cornerstone in UtiliCorp’s commitment to provide its customers with renewable and reliable energy supplies,” said James G. Miller, senior vice president of UtiliCorp and CEO of its U.S. Utility unit. “FPL Energy’s outstanding technical expertise makes them a strong partner in building Green Power into our energy mix.”
“We are pleased that UtiliCorp supports renewable and clean energy, and as the nation’s largest generator of wind power, FPL Energy is proud to be the company chosen to provide this clean power to UtiliCorp and its customers,” said Lew Hay, FPL Group president and chief executive officer.
The electricity from the facility located in Gray County, Kansas, will serve UtiliCorp’s WestPlains Energy customers in Kansas as well as its Missouri Public Service and St. Joseph Light & Power customers in Missouri.
UtiliCorp is the first utility to provide wind-generated power to residential customers in Missouri. The company began providing wind power to its Missouri Public Service division customers in 1999. The electricity is provided through the company’s 16 percent interest in a 1.5-megawatt wind project near St. Marys, Kansas. Through its WestPlains Energy division, UtiliCorp also supplies customers in Kansas with wind power from the project, the first constructed in the state.
UtiliCorp provides electricity to 265,000 customers in Missouri, 65,000 in Kansas and 80,000 customers in Colorado. It also provides natural gas service to 863,000 customers in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Michigan.
UtiliCorp recently received an award from the governor of Missouri for its efforts in being the only utility to provide wind power to residential customers in the state.
FPL Energy currently operates wind farms in Iowa, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon, and California, with more than 1,000 megawatts of capacity and a net ownership of approximately 800 megawatts. The company has announced wind projects that will add approximately 650 additional megawatts to its portfolio by the end of 2001.
FPL Energy is a independent producer of clean energy, including natural gas, wind, solar and hydroelectric. It owns and operates power plants with more than 4,400 total net megawatts in 12 states across the country. Wind power represents nearly 15 percent of the company’s portfolio, with a total of 80 percent fueled by renewable sources or clean-burning natural gas. Given current development activities, FPL Energy expects to have more than 10,000 megawatts in operation by 2003.
FPL Group, with annual revenues of more than $7 billion, is one of the nation’s largest providers of electricity-related services. FPL Group’s principal subsidiary is Florida Power & Light Company, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving approximately 3.9 million customer accounts in Florida.
Additional information is available on the Internet at www.fplenergy.com, www.fplgroup.com and www.fpl.com.
Based in Kansas City, UtiliCorp United is an international energy company with customers and operations across the U.S. and in Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. At June 30, 2001, UtiliCorp had total assets of $13.2 billion and 12-month sales of $41.2 billion. Additional information is available at www.utilicorp.com and www.energyone.com/wind.