Hutchinson, Kansas, Sept. 3, 2019 – For the first time ever, the Kansas State Fair will be entirely powered by Kansas wind energy.
Enel Green Power, in partnership with Westar Energy and KCP&L, is retiring renewable energy credits equivalent to the amount of electricity expected to be consumed by the 2019 Kansas State Fair from the Diamond Vista wind farm in Kansas. This marks the first time that 100% of the Kansas State Fair’s energy usage will be offset by renewable energy credits.
Diamond Vista, owned and operated by Enel Green Power, is a 300 MW wind farm located in Marion and Dickinson counties that began operation at the end of 2018. Diamond Vista’s 95 wind turbines produce about 1,300 GWh per year, enough to meet the electricity needs of more than 100,000 Kansas households. The 1 GWh of clean, renewable energy generated for the 2019 Kansas State Fair is equivalent to 123 homes’ energy use and avoids greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 150 passenger cars off the road for one year.
“With deep roots in the sunflower state, Enel is thrilled to promote and showcase Kansas wind energy at the 2019 Kansas State Fair,” said Marcus Krembs, director of sustainability for the United States and Canada at Enel North America. “Supplying 100% renewable energy, in partnership with Westar Energy and KCP&L, for the largest event in Kansas is a celebration of successful partnerships with the state, landowners and local communities. Kansas wind power represents billions of dollars of investment and thousands of good-paying, skilled, Kansas-based jobs.”
In Kansas, Enel Green Power operates six wind power plants, representing over $2.1 billion in total investment and more than 210 full-time employees working in the state. With its acquisition of Lenexa-based developer Tradewind Energy this year, Enel Green Power has expanded its presence in Kansas, where the company is the largest wind operator with more than 1.4 GW of operational wind capacity.
During the past decade, Westar Energy and KCP&L, which merged in 2018, have increased their generation from renewables by more than 12.5 times, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 40 percent from 2005 levels. Today, Westar and KCP&L customers get nearly a third of their energy from wind and another 25 percent from nuclear power. So far in 2019, nearly 55 percent of energy is coming from emission free resources.
“Wind energy brings investment to Kansas communities and produces competitively priced electricity for Westar Energy and KCP&L customers,” said John Bridson, vice president, generation services for Westar Energy and KCP&L. “Our wind farms have produced more than 50 million megawatt-hours of electricity for customers, helping Kansas to become a national leader in wind energy production.”
“As we celebrate all things Kansas at the Kansas State Fair, we recognize that the wind industry has become an increasingly important economic asset for the state,” said Kansas State Fair General Manager Robin Jennison. “Nearly 37 percent of the state’s total electricity is produced by wind power. That includes the Fair. We are proud to partner with Enel and Westar to make the Kansas State Fair one of the greenest state fairs in the nation.”
Enel Green Power North America, part of the Renewable Energies division of the Enel Group, is a leading owner and operator of renewable energy plants in North America with projects operating and under development in 24 US states and two Canadian provinces. Enel Green Power operates around 100 plants with a managed capacity exceeding 5 GW powered by renewable hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar energy.
About KCP&L and Westar Energy:
Serving approximately 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri, Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L), KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company and Westar Energy are the electric utilities of Evergy, Inc. (NYSE: EVRG). Together we generate nearly half the power we provide to homes and businesses with emission-free sources. We support our local communities where we live and work, and strive to meet the needs of customers through energy savings and innovative solutions.
The Kansas State Fair has featured the best of all things Kansas – including its culture, its economy, its people and its communities – since 1913. It is the state’s single largest event, drawing an average 340,000 people from all 105 counties and several states for 10 days each September. The Fair’s mission: "To promote and showcase Kansas agriculture, industry and culture, to create opportunity for commercial activity and to provide an educational and entertaining experience that is the pride of all Kansans."