Salina A winter storm earlier this month has delayed completion of a wind farm that had been scheduled to begin production this week.
Now, the company says the 250-megawatt facility in Lincoln County should be up and running in January.
"Needless to say, the ice storm and snow last week really threw everything to a grinding halt," said Frank Constanza, senior vice president of corporate development at TradeWind Energy, which is developing the wind farm. "We're at the mercy of the elements."
Hays-based Sunflower Electric has a contract to buy half the wind farm's production. Midwest Energy and the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities also plan to use electricity from the farm.
Constanza said Midwest Energy, which is providing the connection that links the wind farm to the electric grid, has shifted its focus to power-restoration efforts since the ice storm.
At the peak of the outage, about 9,000 Midwest Energy customers were among more than 130,000 households statewide without power. The utility had reduced the number of outages to about 600 by Thursday, according to Kansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., a statewide association.
"If the weather cooperates, there's a very good chance we'd have all the towers erected in January and be in full operation," Constanza said.
Bob Helm, a spokesman for Midwest Energy, agreed.
"We're thinking now maybe mid- to late January, depending on how everything works," he said.
The 10,000-acre wind farm is being built in two phases. When the first phase is finished, it will have 56 wind turbines - 260-foot-tall towers with a three-bladed turbine that measures 260 feet across.
In November, high wind toppled the huge crane used to erect the towers. It since has been replaced by an even larger one.