Governor signs executive order creating a group to foster wind energy in Kansas

? Gov. Mark Parkinson on Wednesday signed an executive order setting up an interagency group to promote wind energy.

“We’ve made a lot of progress,” in developing wind energy, Parkinson said at a meeting of the Kansas Wind Working Group.

But Parkinson conceded the progress has sometimes seemed slow to advocates of wind power.

Four years ago, Kansas produced about 300 megawatts of wind-generated electricity. Now the figure is 1,000 megawatts.

Parkinson said the recent approval of new transmission lines in the state will pave the way for more wind projects by providing the capacity to move wind power for sale elsewhere.

“The sky is the limit,” he said. Studies have shown Kansas has one of the top potentials for wind energy.

The executive order establishes the Kansas Interagency Working Group for Wind Energy, which includes leaders from state agencies including Commerce, Wildlife and Parks, Transportation, Agriculture, Labor, the Kansas Corporation Commission, Energy Office, Board of Regents, the governor’s Military Council and Adjutant General’s Office.

Lt. Gov. Troy Findley, who chaired the governor’s energy policy subcabinet team, said the group is designed to be a “one-stop shop” in state government to help in wind energy planning.