Sunflower Electric Power Corp. has contracted with Infinity Wind Power LLC to purchase 104 megawatts of wind energy from Infinity's Shooting Star Wind Project to be located near Mullinville.
The agreement brings the combined Sunflower system to a net renewable generation capacity equal to 29% of retail peak demand, almost doubling the state's renewable energy standard requiring electric utilities to have at least 15 percent of their peak demand from renewable resources by 2016.
Infinity recently purchased the development rights of the Shooting Star project form Clipper Windpower, which began developing the project in 2001. Infinity says the project will be operational by the end of 2012.
"The addition of this wind 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 projet that will provide many economic beneifts to the region, it's a great move for our members."
Royalty revenue to landowners from the project will be in excess of $10 million over the life of the contract and completing construction will generate about 250,000 hours of construction labor.
Infinity has also established a community benefits fund for deployment in Kiowa County that will providing funds to the county to address its most pressing concerns and needs.
"Infinity Wind Power is pleased to provide this low-cost energy resource to Sunflower and its members," said Matt Riley, Infinity's CEO. "The community near the Shooting Star Wind Project has been incredibly supportive over the years and we look forward to providing the economic benefits that come with wind power construction and operation."
Sunflower Electric Power Corp. 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 in central and western Kansas.