Duke Energy and Sumitomo to jointly own Kansas wind farms

Sumitomo Corp. of America, part of Tokyo-based Sumitomo Corp., will become a 50-50 equity partner in two large-scale wind farms Duke Energy Renewables is building in Kansas, the companies announced.

SCOA is buying a 50 percent stake in the 131-megawatt (MW) Cimarron II Windpower Project in Gray County and the 168-MW Ironwood Windpower Project in Ford County.

Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy and SCOA will complete construction of both wind farms later this year. Duke Energy Renewables will operate and maintain Cimarron II and Ironwood once they are in service, with SCOA actively involved in management of the projects.

“Forging this new strategic partnership with Sumitomo – a strong global company – helps Duke Energy Renewables manage its capital deployment effectively and fuel continued growth in its wind and solar power businesses,” said Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf.

“We are pleased to join together with such a strong partner as Duke Energy,” said Masao Miyamoto, vice president and head of SCOA’s Power and Telecom Business. “This joint venture marks another step in the evolution of Sumitomo’s renewable energy business strategy, as we take a more active role in wind and other renewable projects. We will continue to look for opportunities where we can leverage our experience as a leading developer and a long-term strategic investor in high-quality renewable energy projects in the advanced development phase.”

The deal between Duke Energy Renewables and SCOA is expected to close in April. In addition, the companies are exploring opportunities to finance the cost of constructing and operating the Cimarron II and Ironwood wind projects.

Both projects have long-term contracts in place to sell the electricity they generate. Kansas City Power & Light will purchase all of the electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) produced by Cimarron II under the terms of a 20-year agreement. Westar Energy will buy all the power and RECs produced by the Ironwood wind farm through a 20-year agreement.