State officials, as well as company officials from Westar Energy, Horizon Wind Energy and The Empire District Electric Company (from Joplin, Missouri), will be on hand this Friday when the companies break ground on a 200-megawatt wind power farm in Northern Kansas’ Cloud County.
This Westar press release says, when the project is completed (anticipated by the end of this year), it will crank out power for residents of at least two states while making the environment a bit cleaner:
Meridian Way Wind Farm is a 201 megawatt (MW) project owned and operated by Horizon Wind Energy. The wind farm will produce enough energy to power 45,000 average Kansas homes. Westar Energy will purchase 96 MW of energy produced by Phase II of the project. The Empire District Electric Company, based out of Joplin, MO, will purchase energy produced by Phase I of the project.
“The ample natural supply of wind and the support of the local residents and community leaders make Cloud County a prime location for a wind farm,” said Greg Greenwood, vice president, generation construction for Westar Energy. “This groundbreaking symbolizes the commitment Westar Energy, The Empire District Electric Company and Horizon Wind Energy has for providing clean, renewable energy to our customers and the state of Kansas.”
Meridian Way will consist of 67 Vestas V90-3.0 MW turbines, the largest on-shore wind turbine currently being installed. The wind farm is expected to prevent the annual emission of approximately 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide; nearly 1,200 tons of nitrogen oxide; and over 1,600 tons of sulfer dioxide. This is equivalent to taking 60,000 cars off the road. Meridian Way is expected to go online by the end of 2008.
The wind farm is part of Westar’s plan to bring even more wind energy to Kansas and the region.