Kansas leads nation in use of wind energy.
Wind energy is shaping the future for generations to come. So far, roughly $12 billion in private capital investment has been made in the Sunflower State by the wind industry, and with several billion of additional investment coming in new projects currently under construction. This has resulted in 36 operating projects generating more than 6,134 megawatts, which is enough energy to power more than 2 million Kansas homes.
The state of Kansas ranks first in the U.S. for the largest percentage of electricity generated by wind power (36.4%). Kansas also holds the most aggressive renewable energy goal in the country, counting on wind and solar to power 50% of the state’s electricity by 2020. The Kansas Department of Commerce stated, “As a traditional agricultural leader and a state blessed with tremendous natural resources, Kansas is positioned to be a forerunner in renewable energy production.” With more than 3,000 active wind turbines, Kansans are helping to spearhead this transition toward tapping its clean, cheap, homegrown power.
Thanks to wind, the future of energy in Kansas is as vast as the blue skies on our windswept plains.
Cost savings for our State.
Many local units of government have entered into agreements to purchase Kansas wind. The money saved annual from Kansas wind on their energy bills can be redeployment across the community or institution.
- Kansas State University
- University of Kansas (100% wind-powered by 2020)
- Washburn University (78% wind-powered, saving over $100,000/ year)
- Benedictine College
- Sedgwick County Zoo
- Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Topeka, Leavenworth and Wichita
- Manhattan-Ogden School District (100% wind-powered by 2020, saving $43,800/ year)
- Topeka 501 School District
- Johnson County Community College (100% wind-powered, saving $40,000/ year)
- Hays State (100% wind-powered by 2020, saving nearly $1 million/ year)
- Garden City, Kansas (30% wind-powered by 2020)
- City of McPherson (30-35% wind-powered by 2020)
- Kansas City, Kansas (45% powered by renewable energy)
In addition to local Kansas entities, national and global corporations with a presence in Kansas are also tapping into our great state’s renewable energy resources. The Kansas Department of Commerce states, “Our state’s central location and excellent transportation infrastructure provide convenient and economical access for renewable energy operations… A supportive business climate, a diverse portfolio of financial incentives and a commitment to be a leader in alternative energy make Kansas an excellent choice for your business.” The positive economic impact of homegrown energy isn’t limited to wind counties but is widespread across the state. These companies are signing long-term power purchase agreements with renewable energy producers to transition business operations toward clean energy:
|– Allianz/ Microsoft||– Kohler Co.||– T-Mobile|
|– Brown Foreman||– The Home Depot||– Landoll||– Target|
|– Cox Communications||– Iron Mountain||– Royal Caribbean|
Investing in Kansans and their land.
Kansas, a state know for agriculture has always been one of the county’s largest energy producers. Today is no different as Kansas wind is utilized in state and shipped out of state to power homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, libraries, farms and the like. The Kansas Department of Commerce says, “Located in the heart of the nation’s Wind Corridor and ranked second in the nation for wind energy potential, Kansas has vast opportunity to expand wind generation.” Landowners are now the recipients of more than $20 million in land lease payments, the state with the 2nd greatest wind potential in the nation (behind Texas). This is just the beginning of what’s to come.
Thanks to our homegrown energy industry, these payments allow Kansas families to continue their farming and ranching businesses today and for generations to come by providing security through diversification and stability to invest in their land now and in the future.
Utilizing renewable energy sources also generates state water consumption savings for Kansas. In 2018, 4.7 billion gallons of water was saved, the equivalent to 35 billion water bottles. Using resources in the right ways positively impacts Kansans in more ways than one.
Kansas counties with one or more operating or under construction wind farms:
Renewable energy creates jobs in Kansas
The wind and solar industries employ more than 12,000 Kansans directly and indirectly, and education programs are prepared to equip potential candidates for this exploding career path. Here are some of the programs:
- The University of Kansas offers a wind turbine engineering course as part of its Aerospace Engineering major
- Cloud County Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in wind energy technology and a certificate program in wind energy.
- The CCCC certification is either a one- or two-year program. Has a 100% job placement rate and was the first wind turbine technician certification program in the United States.
- Colby Community College offers a Sustainable/Renewable Energy Associate of Applied Science degree and one- and two-year wind certificate programs
- Johnson County Community College offers a certificate program for solar thermal and solar photovoltaic installers, and an Associate of Applied Science degree for designers, technicians and installers in a full array of solar hardware, software and best practices
- Kansas State University’s Wind Application Center educates electrical engineers on the basics of wind energy
- Pinnacle Career Institute in Kansas City offers a Wind Turbine Technician program
According to the Kansas Department of Commerce, “Siemens Gamesa chose Kansas for a wind turbine production facility, citing transportation advantages, pro-business climate and new financial incentives for wind manufacturing projects. A Kansas location offers companies in the wind supply chain ideal access to the new Siemens nacelle plant and numerous other manufacturers in the region. In fact, at least six major wind turbine manufacturers have nacelle production plants within a 500-mile radius of Kansas.”
The workforce opportunity in Kansas for renewable energy is powerful, as the state helps to propel the country towards wind and solar.
Kansans benefit from APA Membership
The Advanced Power Alliance works to expand market opportunities for renewable and advanced energy products in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) regions, including Kansas. The Alliance strives to play an active role in the following key areas: public education and advocacy, political and legislative engagement and regulatory and technical policy.
The APA focuses its work in the heart of America’s most renewable, energy-rich region. The Alliance is the advanced power industry’s voice within the fourteen states of the ERCOT and SPP systems, which include: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.
More than 61,951 megawatts of wind generation capacity are currently operating in this fourteen-state region, but the industry has only scratched the surface of the market potential within our footprint. Through our advocacy programs, we work to expand transmission capacity, increase wind and solar power use within the region, and facilitate wind and solar energy export. We are leading efforts to defend tax and siting policies that treat wind development equitably and protect against the forces working to impede the growth of renewable power.
We have collective strength through a collective voice. The Advanced Power Alliance’s advocacy programs are designed to enhance the influence of its members’ existing resources.
For those members who have their own regulatory and governmental affairs resources in our states, we work to help coordinate member efforts and represent the voice of the industry as a whole. For those who do not, we help provide representation and information on the ground in the places where it matters. Focused on issues that affect our members’ bottom lines, we work to deliver timely and actionable information from legislatures and regulatory agencies. We also aggressively lobby on the key issues affecting the future of our industry ensuring that the voice of the renewable energy industry is resoundingly heard within our region.
If you haven’t already, we invite you to join us. Contact your Kansas leader, Kimberly Gencur Svaty, for more information.
Kimberly Gencur Svaty, Kansas Public Policy Director
Kimberly Gencur Svaty has successfully planned, implemented and directed public affairs activities for two decades with clients ranging from Fortune 5 to Fortune 1000 companies, non-profit organizations, local governments and cause groups. Gencur Svaty Public Affairs has connected people, promoted ideas and grown communities through an evolving suite of technology, marketing, design, polling and campaign services. Kimberly’s love of good public policy and significant experience navigating–and influencing– the political process drives her. Kimberly proudly serves on the Board of Directors for Harvesters, the University of Kansas Health System Saint Francis Campus and completed a term on the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Board of Directors.