Duke Energy clearly likes Kansas – or at least the winds that blow over the state. Earlier this month the company bought a wind power plant in the Sunflower State, and now it says it will build a second large-scale wind farm there.
Duke’s earlier foray into Kansas, the Cimarron I project, was purchased from CPV Renewable Energy, which had already fully developed and contracted the project. Cimarron II, however, will be owned, built and operated by Duke Energy. The 131-megwatt (MW) capacity plant will be located in Gray County, 200 miles west of Wichita, and will span 16,000 acres of leased farmland. It is expected to provide enough energy to power nearly 40,000 homes, with Kansas City Power and Lights purchasing all of the electricity and associated credits under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
Duke said it is now generating 1,000 MW of energy from nine wind farms across the United States. The company has invested over $1.5 billion to increase its commercial solar and wind project. With the completion of Cimarron II and several other wind farms in the works, Duke Energy figures it will be generating 1,300 MW of clean energy – enough to power more than 400,000 homes – in the next couple years.
The company said construction of the Cimarron II Windpower Project would begin in the fall this year, with the aim of being in commercial operation by June 2012.