In response to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius', D-Kan., request to make Kansas a leader in wind energy, Westar Energy, a Topeka, Kan.-based electric utility, has announced plans to acquire up to 500 MW of renewable energy by 2010, with wind power being the most likely source. This would more than double the state's current wind energy production and be a significant step toward Sebelius' goal of having 10% of the state's electricity come from renewables by 2020.
"Some states mandate their utilities into building wind farms," says Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson. "Instead, we have taken a collaborative approach, working with our utilities - as a team - to bring renewable energy to Kansas."
Parkinson is leading the administration's efforts to increase renewable energy production and energy efficiency in Kansas by working with stakeholders and regulators to encourage wind projects. In addition, the governor's proposed budget includes money to plan for construction of new transmission lines.
"Once our transmission lines are built, we will see a further increase in wind farm development," Parkinson adds.