The wind farm’s current developer, Infinity Wind Power LLC, recently bought the development rights for the wind farm from Clipper Windpower. The power purchase agreement was needed before the project could proceed. The contract was signed by Mid-Kansas Electric Company LLC, which was formed in 2005 by five of Sunflower’s members in western Kansas and a wholly owned subsidiary.
Infinity hopes to begin construction this fall and finish the 104 MW plant by the end of 2012. With the energy from the Shooting Star wind farm, Sunflower will have renewable generation capacity equal to 29 percent of retail peak demand. This exceeds the state’s renewable energy standard, which requires utilities to have at least 15 percent by 2016.
"In 2011 NRCO has facilitated the contracting of wind projects in PJM, MISO, and now SPP. We are constantly looking for projects all across the country that will bring value to our members’ portfolios. We are happy that the Shooting Star project fit Sunflower’s renewable energy needs, and we look forward to many more collaborations in the future," stated Amadou Fall, chief executive officer of NRCO.
"The addition of this wind turbines generation to our system, a contract that is the culmination of much hard work by Earl Watkins and Sunflower employees, will allow us to best meet our members’ needs for reliable energy at the lowest possible cost," said Stuart Lowry, Sunflower’s president and chief executive officer. "Anytime we can harness the Kansas wind at an affordable price from a project that will provide many economic benefits to the region, it’s a great move for our members."
Cooperatives across the country formed the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) to promote and facilitate the development of renewable energy resources for its members. NRCO’s main purposes are to facilitate the cost-effective, joint development of renewable resources nationwide for its cooperative owners, helping its owners meet the requirements of voluntary and mandatory Renewable Energy Standards (RES).
Membership in the NRCO is open to generation and transmission cooperatives (G&Ts) and distribution cooperatives that have the legal ability to buy power in the wholesale market. Members located in areas that may not have renewable resources can participate in projects across the United States through renewable projects originated and/or developed by NRCO.
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation is a regional wholesale power supplier that operates a 1,272 MW system of wind, gas, and coal-based generating plants and a 2,300-mile transmission system for the needs of its six member cooperatives that serve more than 400,000 customers living in central and western Kansas.
Mid-Kansas Electric Company is a coalition of five rural electric cooperatives and one wholly-owned subsidiary serving in 34 western Kansas counties that organized themselves for the purpose of acquiring the assets of Aquila’s Kansas Electric Network.
Infinity Wind Power is a leader in wind energy development, focused on advancing quality wind projects through the development process. Based on a landowner advocacy approach, Infinity’s primary goal is to identify and develop wind energy projects with a focus on partnership creation for long-term ownership. To learn more about Infinity Wind Power, visit