BP Wind Energy announced today that it plans to build the 419 megawatt Flat Ridge 2 wind farm in Barber, Harper, Kingman and Sumner counties. The company also announced that it has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement totaling 314 megawatts from the wind farm.
BP made the announcement along with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, state legislators and company executives from Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. (AECI).
“We have enjoyed working closely with BP Wind Energy to create jobs and grow the economy in our state,” Brownback said. “Kansans have a proud history of meeting the needs of the world. We export wheat to feed the hungry and will now be exporting our latest crop—clean, reliable and affordable wind energy to power the needs of our nation.”
Flat Ridge 2 will be located on a 66,000-acre site approximately 43 miles southwest of Wichita in south central Kansas. The wind farm will utilize 262 GE wind turbines each with a rated capacity of 1.6 megawatts. BP Wind Energy is actively marketing the remaining capacity to other customers in the midwestern United States.
“The Flat Ridge 2 wind farm is an investment of approximately $800 million and demonstrates BP’s continued commitment to the state of Kansas,” said John Graham, president and CEO, BP Wind Energy. “Today’s announcement of a PPA with AECI is a milestone in the project’s development that will create some 500 jobs during peak construction and will provide over $1 million annually to the local communities without impacting traditional farming and ranching activities.”
“The focus for us at Associated Electric Cooperative is low-cost, reliable power supply for 875,000 co-op consumers in three states," said Roger Clark, director of AECI's engineering and operations division. “This long-term agreement ensures we will continue as Missouri's wind energy leader to supply low-cost, renewable electricity to our member-consumers in Missouri, northeast Oklahoma and southeast Iowa.”
The Flat Ridge 2 wind farm is 100 percent owned and will be operated by BP Wind Energy. Subject to receiving all the necessary permits to proceed, it is anticipated that initial site construction work will start in the fourth quarter of 2011. The wind farm is expected to become commercially operational by year end 2012, and on completion will be the largest to be built in the state of Kansas.