Kansas recognized as leader in renewable wind energy

The Sunflower State has been recognized as a leader in renewable wind energy.

On Monday, Aug. 29, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly praised the Sunflower State as a leader in wind energy as well, citing the recently released Wind Energy Market Report from the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The latest report from the Department of Energy confirms that Kansas is a national leader in wind energy and is poised for even more growth in the coming years,” Governor Kelly said. “My administration will continue supporting our businesses and our nation in meeting aggressive and imperative energy goals.”

The report indicates that land-based wind energy supplied 45.1% of Kansas’ electricity generation in 2021 – ranking third in the nation. In addition, it said the state continued to bring on more wind energy capacity throughout the year.

Gov. Kelly noted that the state ranked fourth in annual growth of wind capacity and cumulative wind capacity in 2021.

“As our state’s top source for electricity generation, Kansas wind is powering huge new opportunities for businesses and communities to join the transformation that is well underway across our economy,” said Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland. “With billions of dollars in investment, thousands of jobs, new wind projects coming online and huge wind energy potential, Kansas will continue to lead the way in the renewable energy of the future.”

Kelly said the wind energy industry has attracted more than $15 billion in investment to the Sunflower State – impacting the state’s economy through the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs from operations and maintenance, to construction, manufacturing and engineering.

Kelly indicated that the industry also benefits the state by contracting with service providers located in Kansas, purchasing equipment produced in the state, investing in communities and providing long-term lease payments to landowners in rural Kansas.

The Governor said Kansas leads the nation in wind capacity and added more than 1,000 MW of land-based capacity in 2021 and was one of only three states to complete a large-scale redistribution wind project. She said distributed wind projects include turbines that serve on-site energy demand or support the operation of local electricity distribution networks.

As corporate sustainability goals come to the forefront of planning, Kelly said interest in renewable energy options continues to rise with a number of companies committing to 100% renewable electricity.

As those corporate leaders make decisions about how they meet these goals and where they will invest and grow, Kelly said Kansas is poised to offer greater choice in the purchase of renewable energy at a competitive rate.

Kelly also said Kansas companies like Textron Aviation and Spirit AeroSystems already benefit from the chance to buy Kansas wind energy through Evergy’s Renewables Direct program, which resulted in the construction of new wind farms like the Flat Ridge 3 project which came online in 2021.

“The energy industry has evolved rapidly in recent years and Kansas has been a leader in driving that change, which has benefitted ratepayers, created more than 20,000 new jobs, and driven more than $15 billion in private investment in rural and urban areas alike. Kansas has the natural resources and policies that developers want and need in order to grow our clean energy capacity,” said Kimberly Svaty of the Kansas Power Alliance. “By maintaining Kansas’ strong environment for clean, homegrown energy investment, we can ensure continued growth for all Kansans for decades to come.”

For more information about the latest trends and developments in renewable energy industries in Kansas, stakeholders can register for the 2022 Kansas Renewable Energy Conference to be held in Manhattan on Oct. 3 and 4.

By Sarah Motter, wibw.com