The wind power industry, free-market business groups, the governor and lawmakers have unveiled a compromise to overhaul the Kansas renewable energy standard. As Stephen Koranda reports, it would remove the mandate that 20 percent of power generation come from renewable sources and replace it with a voluntary goal.
Some advocacy groups get something they’ve wanted, eliminating the mandate for renewable energy. Mike O’Neal is president and CEO of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.
Whew! That ol’ Kansas wind! It’s been blowing like crazy lately with gusts up to 35 miles per hour and higher.
It’s been blowing so hard that it completely blew the cover off a couple of Koch subsidiaries.
The Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity were left shivering and coverless by those recent gusts. The Kansas Chamber and Americans for Prosperity are known for their own windy proclamations about jobs and how much they, oh, so sincerely just want what’s best for the Kansas economy.
A bill before the Kansas House would allow farming interests to have more input into where power lines are placed.
The bill would require power line projects to be reviewed by the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority before they are considered by the Kansas Corporation Commission.
Representative Sharon Schwartz says the bill is in response to the corporation commission's decision to grant approval to Clear Line Energy's plan to build a 700-mile transmission line to carry wind energy to the east.
A Florida-based developer is exploring the possibility of building a wind farm in Douglas County.
NextEra Energy Resources is looking for sites to place meteorological towers to measure the wind in the area. Company spokesman Steve Stengel says the measurements will determine if a Douglas County project would be economically feasible.
He says the company also wants to find out if there are enough landowners willing to sell easements on their land for wind turbines to make a project possible.
Wind energy tax credits help make wind power more affordable, and have boosted the industry in states like Kansas. But those credits are set to expire at the end of the year, and lawmakers from Kansas disagree on what should be done.
Wichita Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo said last week that the federal government supporting wind energy with tax credits is an intrusion into the economy. Pompeo says opposition is growing and he's arguing to let the credit expire.
The Kansas Corporation Commission is hosting a series of hearings regarding a massive power line that will cross Kansas and deliver electricity to Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.
The Grain Belt Express line will cross Russell and Osborne counties and send 600,000 volts of electricity from wind farms. The Kansas Corporation Commission already has found the project to be in the public interest. The hearings will focus on its location.