Largest wind farm in Kansas to begin operation soon

Dec 27, 2012 by Steve Everly
A Vestas wind turbine. Image credit: Vestas

The largest wind farm to be built in Kansas is set to begin operations by the end of the year.

Flat Ridge 2, jointly owned by Wind Energy and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, is on a 66,000-acre site covering parts of Harper, Barber, Kingman and Sumner counties in southern Kansas.

The project has 274 , each with capacity to generate 1.6 megawatts of electricity or a total of 438 megawatts. That's enough to supply electricity to 160,000 homes.

Besides being the largest wind farm in Kansas, the $800 million project is the largest ever to be built all at once, instead of in phases.

The owners said the giant wind farm was built in Kansas in part because of its business environment but largely because of its wind resources, which have been ranked the second best in the United States.

"Kansas is blessed by very strong winds," said John Graham, the CEO of BP Wind Energy, which is a unit of the BP oil and natural-gas conglomerate.

The opening of the wind farm will be a boost to Kansas, which has been relatively slow to take advantage of its wind. It is ranked ninth in the amount of wind-energy installations.

The Kansas Energy Information Network says the state has 2,192 megawatts of wind energy capacity not counting Flat Ridge 2. Iowa, by comparison, has 4,536 megawatts of installed capacity, making it the third highest in the U.S.

Nevertheless, Kansas still has felt some economic benefit from its wind energy. The Kansas City law firm of Polsinelli Shughart in a study financed by groups or companies connected to the wind industry found that wind energy had created 3,484 construction jobs, 262 operation and maintenance jobs, and 8,569 indirect and induced jobs in Kansas as the investment rippled through the state's economy.

The leasing of land for the wind turbines has meant $273 million in additional income for landowners and $208 million in revenue for community organizations and local and county government, the study concluded.

Those numbers would grow further as more are built. But wind energy's future is unclear in part because of the low price of natural gas, which has made it an economical option to generate electricity.

Wind energy has still been bolstered by requirements in many states including Kansas and Missouri that electric utilities use renewable energy to meet part of electricity demand. Wind energy has also been boosted by the Production , which is used to reduce the price of electricity produced to help make it more competitive.

Both aids have been attacked by opponents of renewable energy, and the tax credit, set to disappear at the end of the month, has been under the most immediate threat.

BP Wind Energy, which previously built a smaller 100-megawatt wind farm in Kansas, says it has more land in the state for additional wind turbines, but those plans are on hold until the future of the incentive is resolved.

Graham of BP Wind Energy said an additional six years probably was needed until the cost of wind turbines declined enough, along with some increases in efficiency, to allow wind energy to be competitive without the Production Tax Credit.

"The reality is the industry needs it," he said.

The hope is the incentive will be renewed as part of the fix to avoid the "fiscal cliff" in Washington. Gov. Sam Brownback and the state's two U.S. senators support renewing the credit.

One idea being discussed is a one-year extension with wind-energy projects under construction getting a second year to ensure they can be completed and qualify for the credit.

The American Wind Energy Association, a trade group, has proposed a six-year phaseout that would start at 100 percent of the current credit and gradually decline over the period

Dorothy Barnett, acting director of the Climate and Energy Project, a Kansas group seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, said her preference would be a simple renewal of the credit, but a six-year phase-out would show that supporters of wind energy also understood the federal government's need to get its deficit under control.

"I hope we can come to some sort of compromise," she said.

But one of the toughest opponents of the tax credit said the six-year phase-out was insufficient.

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, who represents the 4th District of Kansas, said the American Association's plan didn't pass the laugh test. The wind industry is made up of multi-billion dollar companies who can stand on their own two feet, he said. He also would consider a phase-out but only if it quickly moved the industry off the taxpayer dole.

"Without a real phase-out on the table, the only remaining solution is for the wind PTC (tax credit) to expire as scheduled at the end of the year," he said in a statement.

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User comments : 35

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Shootist
1.8 / 5 (15) Dec 27, 2012
Kill the birds,
thousands a day,
thousands, thousands
thousands, a day

Save the birds,
Drill here, Drill now
Lurker2358
2.7 / 5 (12) Dec 27, 2012
Kill the birds,
thousands a day,
thousands, thousands
thousands, a day

Save the birds,
Drill here, Drill now


American house cats kill about a billion birds per year.
Star_Gazer
2.1 / 5 (8) Dec 27, 2012
Hopefully they will not make any huge tornadoes.. There's no place like home!!
Meyer
2 / 5 (4) Dec 27, 2012
That part of Kansas does get a LOT of wind: http://www.crh.no...2007.png
I wonder how much federal relief cash BP will be able to pocket after the first "disaster".
jonnyboy
1 / 5 (7) Dec 27, 2012
"the only remaining solution is for the wind PTC (tax credit) to expire as scheduled at the end of the year"

couldn't have said it better myself.
obama_socks
1 / 5 (9) Dec 27, 2012
Hopefully they will not make any huge tornadoes.. There's no place like home!!
-Star G

I'm pretty sure that most houses in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska and northern Texas, at least the ones in rural areas, all have storm cellars that the owners can get into quickly in case of a tornado watch. The house itself may be gone, but the cellars are relatively safe and built soundly.
Actually, wind farms are good in that area of the country. A lot of Germans settled in those states, especially in Missouri and Kansas, which is why I have 3rd and 4th cousins living there yet.
In around Livermore, California, there are wind farms on the hills to take advantage of the elevation. It's something to see. I'm sure that a lot of birds fly into them, but a choice has to be made...either the birds or cheap power.
:)

RichManJoe
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 27, 2012
The wind farms seem to be rated on power output, as opposed to energy produced. So they say they can provide power for N homes - is that with the generators running at full output and the homes operating at maximum demand? Wouldn't it be better to rate these in expected energy produced instead of power, which would assume a wind model? This would give a more realistic rating - these models for the wind must exist or the farms wouldn't get any backers.
djr
4.6 / 5 (9) Dec 27, 2012
Kill the birds,
thousands a day,
thousands, thousands
thousands, a day

Shootist - we get it that you are anti progress. Do you also oppose the construction of cell towers? This article indicates that cell towers kill 5 - 7 million birds a year, vs 100,000 to 440,000 from turbines. http://www.nature...-1.10849 Clearly there is an issue with turbines - and it is being researched. Most seem to feel we can find a balance. Why do you not complain about cell towers, and domestic cats? Could it be you have an agenda????
DirtySquirties
2.7 / 5 (11) Dec 28, 2012
Kill the birds,
thousands a day,
thousands, thousands
thousands, a day

Shootist - we get it that you are anti progress. Do you also oppose the construction of cell towers? This article indicates that cell towers kill 5 - 7 million birds a year, vs 100,000 to 440,000 from turbines. http://www.nature...-1.10849 Clearly there is an issue with turbines - and it is being researched. Most seem to feel we can find a balance. Why do you not complain about cell towers, and domestic cats? Could it be you have an agenda????


No agenda, she's/he's just a moron.
Lurker2358
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2012
RichManJoe:

If you compare "energy" for wind turbines at just 1/8th design capacity, to the cost of coal (assuming 40% efficient coal power plant,) the turbine is 10 to 30 times cheaper over it's lifetime...at present coal costs.

Since coal is only likely to go up in price, the turbines relative value goes up even more, while their price stays about the same, and eventually goes down, in theory, when the cost of energy goes down.

If a wind company reinvests in itself heavily for 2 or 3 decades, it can grow exponentially, doubling it's assets every few years. This would reduce the cost of energy production over the long term to a mere fraction of the coal energy cost.

Now if you own a coal mine, or a coal fired power plant, you probably don't want anyone to know this.

Concentrated solar is also far cheaper than coal over the long term, but costs a bit more than wind for startup and costs more for land.
dan_cheshire_39
2.9 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2012
We have several large windmill farms just outside of Palm Springs where I live. I think they are beautiful, especially at night when the lights all blink in synchronization. This is because of air traffic in the area. All of the lights blink on and off at the same time in order to create a visible warning for planes. Donald Trump recently visited Palm Springs and passed through the area. He was quoted as saying that he thought the wind generators were the biggest ecological disaster he's ever seen and that he knew all about this technology and that it was not profitable. Well Mr. Trump, it may not be profitable but it does produce affordable power for the normal part of the world. It is just wonderful to see more wind power generation taking place. It is one of the cleanest energy sources we have. The more we experiment with it the better it will get.
dan_cheshire_39
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 28, 2012
The Dutch, (who are out of dry land), are putting windmill generators out at sea. It is a wonderful experiment since the ocean winds are far more active than land winds. The possibilities are endless. I recently saw a new wind turbine that is basically a long tubular kite. It flies stationary in the air overhead and generates electricity as it spins in the wind. The practical purposes here are really amazing. It could power lighthouses and sensor systems out at sea. Supplemented with solar power, this could be the closest thing to a perpetual motion machine that mankind has developed to date.
Howhot
3 / 5 (4) Dec 28, 2012
Considering the AGW induced droughts that have plagued KS these bast years, and the drying up of the major water aquifers, and horrific AGW summer heats,and creationist schools; KS needs something to get itself out of its funk. Sounds like the perfect use of it's resources.

obama_socks
1 / 5 (11) Dec 28, 2012
Considering the AGW induced droughts that have plagued KS these bast years, and the drying up of the major water aquifers, and horrific AGW summer heats,and creationist schools; KS needs something to get itself out of its funk. Sounds like the perfect use of it's resources.

-howhot

Creationist schools and belief in a Deity have nothing to do with wind energy as a renewable source. Don't conflate religion and its dogma and doctrines with the constant wind that blows across those states, unless you are saying that there is some sort of relationship between wind turbines and God.
One other thing that should be improved on are higher capacity batteries to provide the same amount of electrical power when and if the wind dies down. Unfortunately, wind farms don't provide enough jobs as the coal mines, refineries and oil rigs. Coal miners, e.g. depend heavily on their jobs to live on if there is nothing else available. There is that competition between them and renewables.
Otto_the_Magnificent
3.7 / 5 (13) Dec 28, 2012
Unfortunately, wind farms don't provide enough jobs as the coal mines, refineries and oil rigs.
"We find that all non-fossil fuel technologies (renewable energy, EE, low carbon) create more jobs per unit energy than coal and natural gas."
http://rael.berke...09_0.pdf

-So again, it is always better to look stuff up than to pretend you know what you are talking about. Because you NEVER do you ignoramus.
djr
2.8 / 5 (4) Dec 28, 2012
Otto the Magnificent - are you the same person as ghostofotto? I noticed ghostofotto has gone quiet. If yes - what is the purpose of changing handles? - it makes it hard to keep track of who has said what. djr
Howhot
3.8 / 5 (4) Dec 28, 2012
Creationist schools and belief in a Deity have nothing to do with wind energy as a renewable source.
Sure they do; they are both based on hot air! However, one is make believe supported by tea-party a-holes and the other actually uses hot air supported by a fact based business model!

Coal miners everywhere realize, their days as miners is limited. It has to be that way. No one wants coal, and it will certainly be regulated out of existence simply because of the soot, sulfur, mercury, heavy metals, toxins and fly-ash that come from burning coal.
If I was a coal miner, I would be jumping at the chance to learn to service Wind farms. In a few areas of Kentucky some communities have setup wind farms instead of mountain top removal. It more economically beneficial and It's permanent. Wind will alway be there, coal once mined isn't.




obama_socks
1 / 5 (7) Dec 28, 2012
Otto the Magnificent - are you the same person as ghostofotto? I noticed ghostofotto has gone quiet. If yes - what is the purpose of changing handles? - it makes it hard to keep track of who has said what. djr
-djr

You have a good sense of smell, djr...YES, that is just another sock puppet that Theghostofotto1923 uses. FrankHerbert is another sock puppets, as well as many many more that Blotto has accumulated since he first started posting on this website years ago. We have been keeping track of his sock puppets, and you can see the names that Blotto owns on my Profile. Some of the names I got from Profiles of those that Blotto had been harassing and trying to drive out of this website. Check my Profile if you're interested.

obama_socks
2 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2012
Sure they do; they are both based on hot air! However, one is make believe supported by tea-party a-holes and the other actually uses hot air supported by a fact based business model!

Coal miners everywhere realize, their days as miners is limited. It has to be that way. No one wants coal, and it will certainly be regulated out of existence simply because of the soot, sulfur, mercury, heavy metals, toxins and fly-ash that come from burning coal.
If I was a coal miner, I would be jumping at the chance to learn to service Wind farms. In a few areas of Kentucky some communities have setup wind farms instead of mountain top removal. It more economically beneficial and It's permanent. Wind will alway be there, coal once mined isn't.




-howhot

Belief in a Deity is very personal and should be respected as long as it isn't a threat to anyone.
I agree that coal mining days are numbered. But coal still provides power to heat homes and provide electricity in some areas
obama_socks
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 28, 2012
Too bad that coal is so dirty and pollutes so readily. There is always a danger of being overcome with coal gas in the mines...so it's really time for them to get out of that business and prevent more miners from dying. It has about run its course and we all have to move on. My Dad remembers the coal cellars from when he was a kid. Every house had one back then. I can't imagine how much work it took to keep the houses warm, shoveling all that coal into furnaces from the coal bin.
Howhot
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 28, 2012
Belief in a Deity is very personal and should be respected as long as it isn't a threat to anyone.
I'm just trolling. Kansas just pisses me of because they have gone so far right they are now destroying their schools with religious discussion forced on kids. Instead of optional Sunday-School, KS has made toxic; public education with its intelligent design. Basically anti-science. It's sick.

So I guess the point I was trying to make was, good for the Wind energy efforts, it green, clean, and profitable. I just hope that out of the KS education system, you will find workers that understand the science and math behind the technology. The mass brain wash the tea-party is trying to push there does not help.

obama_socks
1 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2012
Creationist schools and belief in a Deity have nothing to do with wind energy as a renewable source.
Sure they do; they are both based on hot air! However, one is make believe supported by tea-party a-holes and the other actually uses hot air supported by a fact based business model!

-howhot

Regarding atheists and the TEA Party, were you aware that Ayn Rand was an atheist? I think she might've approved. TEA Party people come from all forms of beliefs…as well as non-belief in God. It's basically ecunemical, although it does seem to have a bit of snobbishness re: non-believers. The Party itself should be less concerned with a person's religion or lack of it...and instead have a respect for the patriotic values for which the TEA Party was organized.
http://theatheist...a-party/
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.1 / 5 (19) Dec 29, 2012
Otto the Magnificent - are you the same person as ghostofotto? I noticed ghostofotto has gone quiet. If yes - what is the purpose of changing handles? - it makes it hard to keep track of who has said what. djr
-djr

You have a good sense of smell, djr...YES, that is just another sock puppet that Theghostofotto1923 uses. FrankHerbert is another sock puppets, as well as many many more that Blotto has accumulated since he first started posting on this website years ago.
So lying dimwit - you didn't respond to ottos exposure of yet more lazy ignorance on your part. Y don't you just admit that you made something else up again, because you for some reason feel you have the right to do so, and thereby begin your recovery? Come on - admit that you are powerless over your compulsion to look stupid.
desotojohn
not rated yet Dec 29, 2012
Back in the 70s, wind power was the darling of the environmental crowd. To me, there is nothing more awesome than watching these machine extract energy from the wind. Try to name 1 alternate energy source that packs as much power into a small package. Solar just doesn't have the energy density to make a big dent in our nations energy production.
Newbeak
5 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2012

"One other thing that should be improved on are higher capacity batteries to provide the same amount of electrical power when and if the wind dies down".


I was reading an article that said wind power can be "stored" in areas that depend on hydro power: When the wind blows,hydro dams can reduce output and save water,thus effectively storing power.The same would apply to coal plants,which could dial back output when the wind blows,and "store" power in coal that doesn't have to be burned.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2012
energy density to make a big dent in our nations energy production.
Energy density is irrelevant. There are technologies to harvest dense energy from stars (nuclear), intermittent flows {wind} and ubiquitous low-density (solar). Obviously there is far more solar energy available as it drives wind power.

On the moon nuclear power might make more sense as uranium is so prevalent and there's no wind to scatter radioactive clouds.
RealityCheck
2.1 / 5 (7) Dec 30, 2012
Also, harvesting the wind does not pollute and disrupt underground aquifers and streams which support food production irrigation and domestic/commercial freshwater supplies like Coal and Gas does in many places. Wind mills do not make the mining areas of land unsafe/unusable during and for decades afterwards because of land subsidence and local pollutants built up over the life of the mines.

And as Newbeak points out, combined systems of wind with coal/hydro (and solar too!), there are some powerful savings, efficiencies and synergies, with additional local benefits, to be had which make wind (and solar!) most appropriate for the clean and clever centuries ahead for humanity to begin moving towards seriously sooner rather than later.

Happy New Year, everyone!
ScooterG
1 / 5 (9) Dec 31, 2012
Kill the birds,
thousands a day,
thousands, thousands
thousands, a day

Save the birds,
Drill here, Drill now


Indeed...kill thousands a day and nothing is said.

But let a single bird die in a mud pit and watch the SHTF.
Sean_W
1 / 5 (6) Jan 01, 2013
The turbines will be good for birds and bats when they stop working and provide roosting sites.
Howhot
4 / 5 (1) Jan 01, 2013
Obamasocks says:
Ayn Rand was an atheist.
I really don't understand or know who Ayn Rand is; What is your point? Am I supposed to be impressed? Ok after google-ing, I'm not impressed at all; she is a nobody pushing an plutocratic politics (ie; government by the rich for the rich only).

The problem with Kansasstan is they have, through state legislature, morphed what was a good public school system into what amounts to Sunday School. Again, KS has made toxic; public education with its intelligent design. Basically it's anti-science education.

But the article is about BP building a wind farm in KS; You say"
Unfortunately, wind farms don't provide enough jobs as the coal mines,
Is that really true? Mountain top removal doesn't employ that many people, dump truck driver, driller, blasting. Once the mountain is blasted, its gone. Coal is not very high paid. Where as a wind generator is, and will be for the life of the generator.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (5) Jan 01, 2013
Wind farms will not stop global warming, claims minister, new research shows wind farms cause global warming. Just saying....
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Jan 01, 2013
To me, there is nothing more awesome than watching these machine extract energy from the wind
You should carefully sum all energy required for mining and smelting of iron and aluminum, for calcination of limestone for cement, for transport, building and dismantling the wind plants. You shouldn't forget the cost of copper and neodymium used in generators and grid lines too. Regarding the birds, I wouldn't overestimate it: the collisions with buildings kill 97 to 976 million birds annually; collisions with high-tension lines kill at least 130 million birds, perhaps more than 1 billion; collisions with communications towers kill between 4 and 5 million - but could be as high as 50 million; cars may kill 80 million birds per year and collisions with wind turbines killed an estimated 20,000 to 37,000 birds per year.
RitchieGuy01
1 / 5 (7) Jan 03, 2013
ahhhh. . .GhostofOtto. . .kiss kiss my love. No one else on physorg is as smart as U. It is U who knows everything and nobody else knows as much as U do. They all just pretend to know just to impress U. I know that you laugh at everyone else that posts in your physorg. They all tards.
YES. . .this IS your physorg and nobody has the right to post their imbecillic junk without YOUR aproval.

Y are U avoiding me, Ghost? Have U found another man to suuck on? When are we gonna get together again at our favorite motel darling. Remember all those nites we spent together in bed making love? It was pure heaven. I have missed you so much. I see that you're going after other men and looking for some pussytard. Why are you looking for pussy, darling? U KNOW you only love to suckee on me. I thought we were suppose ta get married. Those other men don't deserve you the way I do. I'll have to leave this message everywhere I find U. U have my number. . .give me a call, my Otto cockjuice.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jan 03, 2013
You should carefully sum all energy required for mining and smelting of iron and aluminum, for calcination of limestone for cement, for transport, building and dismantling the wind plants.

EROEI for wind turbines is on the order if 20:1
This is about twice as good as nuclear and about half as good as oil and a quarter of coal. So while not as good as the polluting energy sources it's superior to any other 'little polluting' source with the exception of hydro (which exceeds 100:1)
ScooterG
1 / 5 (7) Jan 03, 2013
You should carefully sum all energy required for mining and smelting of iron and aluminum, for calcination of limestone for cement, for transport, building and dismantling the wind plants.

EROEI for wind turbines is on the order if 20:1
This is about twice as good as nuclear and about half as good as oil and a quarter of coal. So while not as good as the polluting energy sources it's superior to any other 'little polluting' source with the exception of hydro (which exceeds 100:1)


If you're trying to get a grip on the true cost, be sure to include a $1,000 fine for every duck killed by a wind turbine.

http://bismarcktr...2e0.html