Kansas: Wind Energy Leader The Kansas Department of Commerce joins the American Wind Energy Association in recognizing August 11-17th as American Wind Week. Since the state’s first wind development project in Gray County in 2001, Kansas has quickly grown into a wind energy leader—with the bulk of wind development taking place over the course of just ten years and many more projects currently under construction. Today, Kansas is #1 in wind energy as a share of total electricity generation and #2 in wind potential. Take a look at the latest wind map and project listing here! Jobs and Capital InvestmentThis wind energy translates into savings for electricity customers and jobs for Kansans. In 2018, the wind industry directly employed 6,000 people in Kansas, including in the state’s four active manufacturing facilities statewide. In addition to job creation, the wind industry invests heavily in local communities, providing significant revenue in the form of property, state, and local taxes. Kansas has seen $10.5 billion in capital investment through 2018 and received $28 million in state and local tax payments. In addition, wind developers paid $20 million in land lease payments in 2018 alone.High Capacity, High DemandKansas is one of the top five states to operate a wind farm, with 5,653 MW of wind farm projects currently in operation and an additional 1,900 MW on the way from new wind farm projects recently announced. With high potential and high capacity, Kansas will continue to grow its output and attract more purchasers, capital investment, and jobs. Purchasers of Kansas wind energy include: Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Target, T-Mobile, Brown-Forman, Kohler, Iron Mountain, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.Electricity SavingsKansas lies in the Southwest Power Pool, where wind power saved electricity customers $1.2 billion in 2013. Through Westar’s new Renewables Direct Program, Kansas businesses and government agencies have signed on for 200 megawatts of affordable Kansas wind. The fourteen Kansas organizations enrolled in Renewables Direct will receive all or a portion of their electricity from the Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center being built in Nemaha County. The Soldier Creek project will provide 250 construction jobs and 20 permanent green energy jobs to Nemaha County and will generate more than $50 million in land-rights payments over the next 30 years. Renewables Direct provides large customers with a path toward their sustainability goals and allows them to lock in a portion of their electricity prices for up to 20 years.Supporting Future GrowthKansas has a strong commitment to wind energy and has already surpassed its renewable portfolio goal of 20% by 2020. With ongoing investments in transmission capacity—including the completion of the Extra High Voltage line known as the V-Plan and the development of the High Voltage DC line known as the Grain Belt Express—the reliability of the regional power grid continues to increase, along with the state’s capacity to transport energy from wind-rich areas to the state’s high population areas. The state’s central location provides ideal access for companies in the wind energy supply chain. And, in addition to logistical advantages, the state will continue to provide incentives for qualified companies investing and creating jobs in Kansas. Kansas Renewable Energy Conference, Oct. 3-4th Ready to join the growing renewable energy movement in Kansas? Join us for the Kansas Renewable Energy Conference in Manhattan on October 3-4th!