Located in Gray County, approximately 200 miles west of Wichita, the 131 MW ‘Cimarron II’ will generate enough electricity to power nearly 40,000 homes, and will contribute to the company’s already robust $1.5 billion renewable generation portfolio.
Duke Energy’s Renewables division purchased the plant, which was already fully contracted to deliver electricity under a power purchase agreement with CPV Renewable Energy Company. Construction is set to begin this fall, with, Cimarron II operational by June of next year and its power will flow to the local Kansas City Power & Light utility under a 20-year agreement.
“Duke Energy Renewables is pleased to acquire this high-quality wind power project from CPV Renewable Energy and looks forward to helping Kansas City Power & Light deliver zero-emission electricity to its customers,” said Duke Energy Renewables Senior Vice President Tony Dorazio.
Duke Energy chose to build the wind farms in Kansas because of its excellent wind resource and convenient access to transmission, according to Duke Energy spokesman Greg Efthimiou. He also said that Kansas was a good location for further renewables development.
“We try to identify regions where we can own and operate more than one renewable resource or facility in the area to achieve economies of scale with development and operations and maintenance,” said Efthimiou.
Duke Energy already owns nine wind farms that deliver a total of 1,000 MW to power grids in four states, including Wyoming, Texas, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.
By purchasing this second wind farm in Kansas (its first one was a 168 MW project in Ford County,) the company is taking bold steps to expand the state’s wind generation portfolio. Although Kansas is one of the country’s windiest states and is home to America’s windiest country, just next-door to Gray County, its wind generating capacity is far lower than states like Texas, Iowa and California.
Photo Caption: This picture, from May 26, 1959 depicts a tornado touching ground near Lyons, Kansas. It demonstrates the immense potential of Kansas’ winds.