Enel starts operations at first phase of Cimarron Bend wind farm in Kansas

Enel Green Power North America (EGP-NA) said Jan. 3 that it is closing out 2016 with the start of operations of the first 200 MW of the company’s largest wind project, the 400-MW Cimarron Bend wind farm in Clark County, Kansas.

Cimarron Bend, which began construction in April 2016, will further solidify EGPNA’s position as the largest wind energy company in Kansas with 1.1 GW of projects operating and under construction. EGP-NA worked with its long-time strategic partner, Kansas-based Tradewind Energy, to develop the project.

EGP-NA and Tradewind Energy have partnered to develop numerous wind projects throughout the Midwest, including EGP-NA’s four other wind projects in the state: Caney River in Elk County; Smoky Hills I & II in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties; and the Buffalo Dunes wind farm in Finney, Grant, and Haskell counties.

“The strategic development partnership between Tradewind Energy and Enel Green Power has been an economic success story for Kansas. This achievement continues to solidify Kansas’s role as a national energy leader,” said Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave.

The power and renewable energy credits from Cimarron Bend will be sold under two 200-MW bundled, long-term power purchase agreements; one with Google and the other with the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU). Cimarron Bend is the first of EGP-NA’s wind projects to sell a portion of the power produced to a corporate off-taker. In addition, Cimarron Bend will play a part in helping Google, the largest corporate buyer of renewable power in the world, reach a company goal of using 100% renewable energy for its global operations in 2017.

“The Enel Group believes in sharing its expertise as a renewable energy pioneer,” said Rafael Gonzalez, Head of Enel Green Power North America. “Through our partnerships with like-minded corporations, we look forward to advancing our work in the wind industry and furthering the progress of renewables as a whole.”

“We can’t speak highly enough about the tremendous support we received on the ground in Clark County. We worked with the community and our landowner partners for 8 years to develop this project while focusing on the importance of investments like these for rural Kansas communities,” said Brice Barton, Tradewind Energy’s senior development director.

EGP-NA is currently present in 23 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces with nearly 2.9 GW of managed capacity across four technologies including wind, solar, hydropower and geothermal.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.