Montezuma A power plant that will literally spin air into electricity is a perfect example of the alternative-energy solutions he wants to promote, Rep. Jerry Moran said.
After all, what commodity in southwest Kansas is more renewable than the wind?
"This is very impressive," Moran said Thursday during a visit to the Gray County Wind Farm. "This is a significant boost to the local economy, and it is encouraging alternative sources of energy."
When the plant is completed, giant windmill blades set on top of towers will turn turbines to generate power.
Moran, R-Kansas, visited the construction site on Thursday as part of his tour of the 1st Congressional District. He, state Rep. Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, and representatives from both UtiliCorp United and Florida Power and Light were among those watching a 300-foot crane hoist a generator and a blade assembly to the top of a tower.
"This to me is one more commitment to meet people's demands," he said.
Moran said he attempted a couple of years ago in Congress to put together an energy plan that included alternative energy sources but could not get his colleagues interested.
But as energy demands continue to increase nationwide, Moran said, it will be even more important to develop alternative energy policies.
"The energy policy should cover a number of things, such as grain-based fuels and wind energy," he said. "The energy plan that I am working on now increases tax credits to encourage incentives for those suppliers."
The wind farm is a good fit for the Montezuma area, he said.
"We have wind in Kansas, and it is clean air," he said. "The economic impact that this will have on the community with jobs and contractors is a win-win situation."
Moran, who is so popular in the heavily Republican 1st District that he won a third term with no Democratic opposition in November, has said he will decide by Oct. 1 whether to run for governor.
"I am not overly excited about leaving the job I have now because I love what I am doing," he said Thursday. "I am not out looking for another job, but I have had a lot of encouragement from those in the district wanting me to run for governor."