Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kansas tops states in current wind energy projects, report says

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

Topeka — Kansas has more wind energy projects under construction than any other state, according to a wind industry report released Thursday.

Kansas has more than $2 billion worth of wind project under construction at the moment, the American Wind Energy Association reported.

AWEA also said that Kansas has become a wind turbine manufacturing hub with the new Siemens facility in Hutchinson.

In addition to ranking first with 1,189 megawatts of wind projects under construction, Kansas ranked seventh for wind energy as a percentage of total energy portfolio at 8.3 percent. South Dakota ranked first at 22.3 percent.

The industry group said wind power enjoyed a strong year of double-digit growth in the United States, but needed Congress to extend the Production Tax Credit to keep up the momentum.

“In hard economic times we’re creating jobs and delivering clean, affordable electricity,” said AWEA Chief Executive Officer Denise Bode stressed. “But we will lose all these consumer benefits and a brand new, growing manufacturing sector if Congress allows the Production Tax Credit to expire. Businesses need certainty. That is why it is urgent that Congress extend the PTC now, or risk losing a bright new manufacturing sector," Bode said.