Three months after all 67 turbines of the Spearville Wind Energy Facility became active, the blinking red lights atop the towers have become a familiar site on the western Kansas landscape
Construction, which began in April of this year, was able to be completed a month early.
All towers were fully operational by Sept. 13. Officials had originally estimated the $166 million project would take until Oct. 1. Good weather allowed the contractors to finish early.
According to Kansas City Power and Light, the wind farm supplies power to an estimated 33,000 homes in the Kansas City area. Sprint Nextel Corp. campus in Overland Park signed on as the farm’s first customer, said KCP&L.
The opening of the wind farm sparked state-wide attention, with Governor Kathleen Sebelius present for the dedication of the 5,000 acre project north of Spearville.
“I commend KCP&L for their site selection of Spearville out of the heart of the Flint Hills,” Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said during the ceremony.
The Spearville location is the smallest of three operating wind farms in the state of Kansas. The Elk River Wind Power Project in Butler County produces 150-megawatts and the Gray County Wind Farm near Montezuma produces 110-megawatts.
In October, KCP&L announced the farm boosted Kansas into the top seven wind power states. Kansas now surpasses Oregon, Wyoming and Colorado.
By Mark Vierthaler
Dodge City Daily Globe
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