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Enel Green Power expansion bringing Cimarron Bend wind farm to nearly 600 MW capacity

The U.S. renewables wing of Italian energy producer Enel has started construction on a 199-MW wind farm expansion in Kansas.

Enel Green Power is bringing a 74-turbine expansion to the Cimarron Bend wind farm in Clark County. The currently 400 MW site’s added capacity, once completed, will make it the largest in Enel’s North American portfolio.

“As one of the largest renewable power producers in North America, Enel Green Power is committed to excellence in not only developing and constructing new projects but also strategically expanding our existing fleet,” said Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power. “The expansion of Cimarron Bend is a testament to both the maturity of our wind operations and our commitment to growing a portfolio of state-of-the-art renewable plants that will generate value for many years to come, while providing sustainable energy.”

Kansas-Missouri utility holding company Evergy is acquiring 150 MW of the expansion under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA). The PPA will include support for Evergy’s Renewables Direct program, which allows commercial and industrial customers to offset a percentage of their energy usage through renewable sources.

 In January, Evergy committed to reducing carbon emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

“As we continue implementing more renewable energy into our overall generation mix, Evergy is pleased to partner with Enel on this expansion project to add to our total wind capacity,” said Kevin Brannan, Evergy Manager of Products and Solutions, Renewable Sources. “This helps us reduce carbon emissions and increases our wind energy levels, which leads us toward more sustainable operations and ultimately benefits our customers.”

Cimarron Bend’s first two phases, totaling $891 million in investment, became commercially operational in 2016 and 2017. The expansion will bring the Kansas wind farm to more than 2.7 TWh per year in generation output.

A Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) joint action agency, the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC), which supplies municipal power for more than 60 communities in Missouri and Arkansas, will purchase the output of a 30 MW portion of the project under a 12-year bundled PPA.

The power and renewable energy credits from the original 400 MW portion of Cimarron Bend are sold under bundled, long-term PPAs with Google and the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU). The first two phases were completed, at a cost of about $891 million, in 2016 and 2017, according to reports.

Enel Green Power is constructing nearly 1 GW of new wind and solar capacity this year across the U.S. and Canada. Overall, the company operates close to 5.8 GW of capacity including wind, hydro, geothermal and solar on the continent.