Spearville wind farm project on track

? The first towers at the Spearville Wind Energy Facility rose this week over the countryside, and officials from Kansas City Power & Light said they could begin generating power soon.

Phil Duncan, project director for the utility provider, said workers still needed to make the connections to make the turbines operational at the plant, which was inaugurated June 16 by state and local officials. Five turbines are standing, and a dozen will be installed by the end of next week.

“I think we are on schedule,” Duncan said. “The weather has only affected the work on one Tuesday when we had high winds. The workers make up any lost time on the weekends. Crews are ready and waiting to come into work at any time.”

When complete, the $166 million facility will include 67 turbines and produce 100.5 megawatts of power – enough to supply 33,000 homes annually.

Much of the energy will be routed to Sprint Nextel’s corporate campus in Overland Park, where officials estimate they will save 175 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year.

“We still hope to be finished by October,” Duncan said. “We are planning a dedication ceremony for the entire facility after all the turbines are installed and in service.”