Project Development, Wind Power

Elk River Wind Power Project Delivers Renewable Energy

The energy generated by the Elk River Wind Power Project, which was dedicated last week, is already sold to the Empire District Electric Company in Kansas, and at less than traditional cost. Elk River, owned by Portland, Oregon- based PPM Energy (ScottishPower’s U.S. energy business), uses 100 GE 1.5-megawatt (MW) turbines to produce 550,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy annually — enough to power 42,000 homes.

“During the two and one-half months of 2005 when energy was available, Elk River provided our system about 75,000 megawatt-hours of power at a cost about 64 percent lower than we would have paid for purchased power from the market,” said Brad Beecher, vice president-energy supply, the Empire District Electric Company. “That drove a reduction in costs of about $3.3 million. In the first quarter of 2006, a period when the plant was fully commercial, Elk River generated 142,595 hemegawatt-hours and contributed an estimated savings of about $4.2 million,” Beecher added. “The impact of Elk River has far exceeded our expectations and our customers and shareholders have enjoyed the financial benefits.” “The Elk River wind power plant represents a major step forward in the development of renewable energy in Kansas,” said Raimund Grube, vice president of PPM WindPower. “The benefits of projects like Elk River are immense — contributions to rural economies, jobs, and above all, clean, cost-competitive wind power.” “I am the fourth generation to ranch on this property,” said Peter Ferrell, a local landowner. “My family has been here since 1888 and that weighs heavily on my decision to engage in practices that can be carried on generation after generation without depleting the resources. Both the grass and the wind will be here for generations.” “With the completion of the Elk River Wind Farm, Kansas became one of the top ten states in the U.S. for renewable energy generation capacity. This project represents the culmination of efforts by many individuals and organizations, propelling Kansas into its rightful position of leadership in wind energy,” said Jeff Schlichting, president of HMH Energy Resources, Inc.