Kansas State University recently announced that it had signed a new agreement with Westar Energy to get approximately 50% of the energy needs of its main Manhattan campus from a Westar Energy wind farm in Nemaha County. The deal will save Kansas State University about $200,000 annually.
Said the press release announcing the deal, “The agreement is part of Westar Energy's new Renewables Direct program, which provides large customers access to renewable energy at set long-term prices. The program involves the 300MW Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center, which is a wind farm that will be built in Nemaha County and is estimated to be on line in 2020. Kansas State University is one of 14 Kansas organizations that will receive electricity from the wind farm.
“As part of a 20-year agreement, the wind farm will provide Kansas State University with 14MW of power, which is approximately 50% of the current load of the university's Manhattan campus, said Gary Weishaar, university manager of energy and controls. The anticipated savings for the university will be approximately $180,000 to $200,000 annually.”
Gary Weishaar, university manager of energy and controls, said in the press release. “Under the Renewables Direct program, the price of electricity provided from Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center will be fixed for 20 years at 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour and replaces the fuel factor cost, which is currently 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. The university's average annual consumption for the Manhattan campus for the last five years has been 113 million kilowatt-hours per year. The university also will receive renewable energy credits associated with the agreement.”
The press release said Westar Energy's Renewables Direct program is designed to provide large customers a path toward their sustainability goals with Kansas' abundant, affordable renewable energy. Participating customers are able to claim a portion of the energy generated by the wind farm as their own, retain all of the renewable attributes and lock in a portion of their electricity prices for 20 years. The program is structured to add projects in the future to keep up with the demand for renewable sources.