Ørsted has started operations at Sunflower Wind, an onshore wind farm located in Marion County, Kansas, the US. Sunflower Wind will be Ørsted’s 13th operational wind farm in the United States, with a capacity to power more than 70,000 homes.
In addition to providing affordable, renewable energy, Sunflower Wind will provide economic benefits to its host community and state economies. The project will utilise a new aircraft detection lighting system so that the night-time lights on the wind turbines blink only when aircraft are detected to reduce light pollution for residents.
David Hardy, Group Executive Vice President and CEO of Region Americas at Ørsted, said: “We’re thrilled to celebrate this achievement and our first clean energy project in Kansas with the community, legislators, and our participating landowners. With Sunflower Wind, we now have 13 operational wind farms in the US, generating 832 MW in the Southwest Power Pool.”
Ørsted pioneered a landmark supply chain decarbonisation effort to deliver renewable energy access and bundled renewable energy credits from Sunflower Wind to nine companies. Working with Schneider Electric, Ørsted entered into power purchase agreements with Amcor, PepsiCo, Stryker, Citizens, and Walmart’s Project Gigaton cohort, which includes Amy’s Kitchen, Great Lakes Cheese, The J.M. Smucker Co., Levi Strauss & Co., and Valvoline Global Operations.
Ørsted is committed to building its renewable energy projects sustainably with a goal of ensuring that all the projects it commissions from 2030 onwards have a net-positive biodiversity impact. Working with The Conservation Fund, Ørsted is supporting voluntary land conservation efforts for up to 3,000 acres (approx. 12 square kilometres) located within the Flint Hills in central Kansas. In addition, Ørsted is partnering with the Kansas Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to restore additional land under conservation easements.
Ørsted currently has nearly 6 GW of onshore renewable energy capacity in operation or under construction and aims to reach 17.5 GW of onshore renewable energy capacity globally by the end of the decade.