Archive for Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wind energy projects increasing in Kansas, but they could slow down if federal tax credit changes

October 18, 2011


On the street

Do you support wind energy in Kansas?

I think it would be cool to have more. I like the way they look.

More responses

— Kansas will more than double its production of wind energy in the next 18 months, but the status of federal energy policy could slow development by 2013, officials said Tuesday.

Eight announced projects totaling $2.7 billion in capital investment and producing 1,388 megawatts of power are coming online in the state.

“It has been a really exciting time, to say the least,” said Kimberly Svaty, of The Wind Coalition. Currently, 1,072 megawatts of wind energy is produced in Kansas.

Svaty told the House-Senate Committee on Energy and Environmental Policy that there were dozens more potential projects. And Kansas has recently landed several large manufacturing facilities of wind turbine components.

But Svaty said that uncertainty about whether the federal government will continue a wind production tax credit will slow growth.

“It would be fair to say there is significant amount of uncertainty surrounding the production tax credit. We’re not sure what the direction is of the federal government on energy in general. There are so many question marks on where does the country want to go with energy policy,” Svaty said.

Wind developers were generally pleased with the pace of development of wind energy in Kansas and with state-approved tax breaks that are used as incentives.

But some county officials voiced concerns.

Elk County Commissioner Liz Hendricks said the Caney River Wind Project there was a major source of income for county government. But she added it was “unfortunate” that Gov. Sam Brownback expanded the “Tallgrass Heartland” area of the Flint Hills, which made the Elk County off limits to further wind-farm expansion.

“Due to Gov. Brownback’s recent decisions, we will not have Phase 2 or Phase 3. For a county like us, we will not see this kind of economic impact other than a wind farm,” Hendricks said.

Brownback expanded the protected area, saying the Flint Hills should be developed more for tourism.

Brownback expanded the protected area, saying the Flint Hills should be developed more for tourism.


devobrun 6 years, 8 months ago

Well Ms. Hendricks, if you go Brownback's way, you can have ecotourism and general enjoyment of wide open praire without windmills, and get a bunch of energy revenue.

You sit atop a significant shale gas reserve. About twenty 5 acre pads with horizontal drilling and fracturing and you all get a piece of an energy pie that doesn't need government input. People will pay directly for the gas and that means revenue for your 2,900 citizens.

And the skies and the prairie are hardly touched. Do the right thing. save your resources, the prairie.... and make an tidy income from gas leases as well.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 8 months ago

If you go the fracking route, just don't drink the water.

inquire 6 years, 8 months ago

Okay, so I read the first comment. Exactly how does 100acres of gas drilling pads "save your resources?" It seems the only thing you do in this articles is "mine" a resource. One is infinite and relatively easy to get with little environmental risk when something fouls up and the other is finite and... well... I'm really thirsty I'm going to go get some clean water and drink it.

pace 6 years, 8 months ago

RVjay, your assumptions about the safety of fracking sound based on those happy commercials we are shown on tv 5 or 6 times a day. When ever a sales man tells me there is nothing to worry about, trust him, the product is a miracle. I close my pocket book, go away and find alternative information sources. You are way too gullible.

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