The population of the “Sunflower State,” Kansas is approximately 2.91 million people. In March 2020, state utilities used renewable energy (48.9%), nuclear (22.5%), coal (20.7%) and natural gas (7.9%) to generate electricity. Wind, solar and hydropower are the primary sources of renewable energy in Kansas.
Kansas’ reliance on renewable energy offsets the high cost of coal and nuclear power. In March 2020, the average cost for residential electricity in Kansas was U.S. 12.7 ¢ per kWh, 21st most expensive state in America. The average price for residential electricity in the United States in March 2020 was 13.08 ¢ per kWh.
Kansas is one of only 20 states that does not have a renewable energy standard, that mandates that utilities use a designated amount of renewable energy to generate electricity. However, the economics of low-cost renewable energy have spurred Kansas utilities to move from expensive coal-fueled power plants to renewable energy.
The Southern Power Company has announced that the Reading Wind Farm commenced operation on June 22, 2020. The wind farm is located in Lyon County, approximately 100 miles southwest of Kansas City, Kansas. The Reading Wind Farm has 32 Siemens Gamesa wind turbines that have a total capacity of 198.5 MW.
Enel Green Power has announced that construction has begun on an expansion to the Cimarron Bend Wind Farm. The wind farm is located in Clark County, approximately 350 miles southwest of Kansas City, Kansas. The expansion will 199 MW capacity to the Cimarron Bend Wind Farm’s current 400 MW capacity.
The robust economics of wind energy has spurred Kansas utilities to abandon expensive coal-fueled power plants for low cost wind energy. In 2005, Kansas’ use of renewable energy was almost nonexistent. Today, Kansas uses a higher percentage of renewable energy than environmentally “progressive” states like Massachusetts or New York.
“Our Energy Conundrum”