Statehouse Live: Federal renewable standards, transmission needed for more wind development, offcials say

? Kansas has made progress in developing wind energy over the past few years, but there remains a lot of unfulfilled potential.

That was the message from Gov. Mark Parkinson on Wednesday at the Kansas Wind Working Group meeting.

The state’s wind generating capacity has surpassed 1,000 megawatts, but 2009 “has obviously been a much slower year,” Parkinson said.

Parkinson said passage of a federal renewable energy standard would spur more wind development in Kansas, which is one of the top states for potential wind energy.

Kelly Harrison, vice president of transmission operations for Westar Energy Inc., said construction of high-voltage transmission lines in western Kansas will be crucial in developing wind energy.

“We have got to build transmission from the west to the east,” he said.