Montezuma, Kansas [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Three years ago the Gray County Wind Energy Center came online in Kansas, and it has replaced the equivalent of 606,000 tons of coal for power production since then.In addition to that, according to Aquila Senior Vice President Keith Stamm, the wind farm has offset generation emissions totaling about one million tons of carbon dioxide, 2,650 tons of sulfur dioxide, 2,170 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 42 pounds of mercury. “This has been an excellent wind energy program for Aquila during the past three years,” said Stamm. “This wind production is a viable portion of our overall power generation. Although coal and natural gas fuels remain the foundation for generation, wind power provides environmental benefits for our customers.” The wind farm, which is owned and operated by Florida Light and Power (FPL), has generated more than one million MWh of electricity for Aquila electricity customers since production began. FPL Energy constructed the 170-turbine wind farm on 12,000 acres of land about three miles east of Montezuma. The turbines have a combined generating capacity of 112 megawatts, which is enough to power 33,000 homes. Aquila’s 69,000 electric customers in Kansas and 285,000 in Missouri receive 100 MW of wind power, with the remaining 10 MW sold on the wholesale electric market. The wind farm provides 5.5 percent of total power consumed by Aquila customers in Kansas, and 2.8 percent for Missouri customers. In recognition of its participation in the Gray County Wind Energy Center, Aquila has received the Pollution Prevention Award from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Missouri Governor’s award for energy efficiency and pollution control. Additionally, Aquila recently provided $75,000 to support a program by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for a high-tower wind study that will determine potential sites for constructing wind turbines in the state.