Purchase photos

Sunflower Electric adds more wind power

9/9/2011

By MIKE CORN

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

Hays-based Sunflower Electric is adding 104 megawatts of wind-generated electricity to its portfolio.

The electric generation cooperative announced it was purchasing the wind-powered electricity from a generation project to be constructed near Mullinville, about 100 miles south of Hays.

The contract actually was signed by Mid-Kansas Electric Co., created in 2005 by the six rural electric cooperatives that are members of Sunflower.

The purchase agreement is with Infinity Wind Power, which is purchasing what is called the Shooting Star Wind Project from Clipper Windpower. The Shooting Star site is scheduled to produce 105 megawatts of power beginning in 2012.

Sunflower and Infinity signed a 20-year agreement.

Purchasing the wind power will boost Sunflower's portfolio dramatically.

Currently, Sunflower purchases 125 megawatts of wind-produced electricity from two sources -- 74 megawatts from the Smoky Hills wind project near Ellsworth and 51 megawatts from the Gray County wind project. It also purchases 5.3 megawatts of power from an out-of-state producer.

With the 104 megawatts of power from Mullinville, Sunflower will be able to claim 29 percent of its production from wind.

Under the state's Renewable Energy Standards Act, electric producers must have at least 20 percent of their peak demand supplied by wind.

Each megawatt of Kansas-produced wind power, however, is multiplied by 1.1 percent toward that goal. Wind power from out-of-state sources only account for the amount produced.

Construction on the Mullinville site by Infinity is scheduled to begin this fall. The project will cover nearly 11,000 acres of land.