Wind powering more energy and jobs in Kansas

This is American Wind Week and it’s important to note the progress that has been made on that front in Kansas.

“We’ve certainly had a great amount of growth over the last decade,” said Dorothy Barnett with the Climate and Energy Project, a Kansas-based non-profit. “Kansas now has 34 operating wind farms of various sizes, ranging from a couple of turbines at Fort Hays State University to the largest, I believe, is 400 megawatts in south-central Kansas.”

Not quite 40 percent of Kansas electricity now comes from wind.

“We have about 10 wind farms that have been announced or are under development,” said Barnett. “For the last decade, we’ve really expanded clean energy in Kansas.”

Kansas is also in on the manufacturing side of the wind farm increase.

“The Siemens Gamesa plant is actually going to be celebrating their 10-year anniversary this December,” said Barnett. “Ten years ago, they rolled the first turbine off of the line. It’s been interesting to watch the technology changes over the last decade for them as well. They initially were assembling one type of turbine, I believe they’re now assembling three different types.”

Siemens Gamesa has installed more than 10,000 wind turbines in the U.S.