Westar Energy inks 200-MW wind deal with Apex

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) has agreed to buy 200 MW of electricity from a wind power project that Apex Clean Energy will build near Arkansas City, Kan., Westar said Nov. 6.

The construction of the Kay project is expected to bring about $90m to the Kansas economy.

The wind project is near one of Westar Energy’s recently constructed high-voltage transmission lines, Westar said. The wind project comprises about 18,000 acres six miles south of Arkansas City. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2015, and the project is expected to begin providing electricity in late 2016.

The 300-MW Kay wind project is expected to provide enough electricity to power over 102,000 homes, Virginia-based Apex said on its website. The project is expected to use roughly 130 turbines.

In December 2012, Apex completed the development and construction of the 300 MW Canadian Hills Wind project outside Oklahoma City.

Apex was the runner-up to Dominion (NYSE:D) in the September bidding for Interior Department rights to wind energy development.

Westar currently has about 700 MW of renewable energy in its generation portfolio. It was the first utility in Kansas to add commercial scale wind energy to its generation, with a pilot project in 1999. It remains a leader in renewable energy.

Apex Clean Energy is developing a number of large-scale wind energy projects in the Midwest.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.