Project Boosts Kansas’ Reputation as a National Wind Power Leader and Net Exporter of Low-Cost Clean Energy
Lenexa, Kan. (October 8, 2010) – Elk County will benefit from significant economic development thanks to an agreement between the Caney River Wind Project and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The Caney River Wind Project was developed by Lenexa-based TradeWind Energy, and will be constructed, owned and operated by its partner, Enel North America (ENA), a subsidiary of Enel Green Power.
ENA and TradeWind today announced that TVA has signed a contract to purchase the annual output of the 200 MW Caney River Wind Project proposed for Elk County, Kan. TVA is the nation’s largest public power company and becomes TradeWind’s and ENA’s largest customer in North America. The electricity TVA purchases from the Caney River Wind Project will be delivered to the southeast U.S. where it will provide affordable power for the equivalent of 60,000 homes.
TradeWind and ENA plan to erect wind turbines on nearly 14,000 acres in west central Elk County. More than 200 workers will be employed during the construction phase. The entire project is expected to cost about $350 million and commercial operation is expected to commence on or about January 1, 2012.
“The Caney River Wind Project will be an enormous economic boost to the businesses and residents of Elk County, which has the second lowest per capita income in the state of Kansas,” said Rob Freeman, CEO of TradeWind Energy. “Even following the construction phase, the facility will employ about 15 full-time highly skilled workers and contribute $3 million a year to the local economy through lease agreements with landowners and payments in lieu of taxes to the county. Our contributions to the county will represent a 50 percent increase in annual revenues to this economically challenged area.”
The Caney River Wind Project is further evidence that moving our country now toward non-polluting and sustainable energy technologies can be achieved while lowering costs for rate payers. Wind energy from projects like the Caney River Wind Project is the lowest cost source of any new electric generation today, and it provides a long term price hedge against volatile fossil fuel prices.
Beyond Elk County, the Caney River Wind Project will enhance Kansas’ reputation as a leader in low-cost wind energy development. “Thanks to its reliable and consistent winds, Kansas is ideally positioned to deliver low-cost renewable power to major customers in the southeast U.S. like the TVA,” said Toni Volpe, the head of the North American area of Enel Green Power. “Kansas is the number two state in the nation for wind power. This is a sustainable resource that can bring enormous economic benefits to Kansas for generations to come.”
In an effort to promote wildlife and grassland conservation throughout the state of Kansas, the Caney River Wind Project has entered a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to manage $5 million in funding directed toward the purchase of conservation easements and issuance of research and conservation grants within the state.
“The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is pleased to partner with the Caney River Wind Project in preserving the valuable natural resources of Kansas,” said Donn Waage, director of the Central Partnership Office of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “We view our partnership on the Caney River Wind Project as a win-win for the people, the wildlife and the natural habitats of the state.”
ABOUT TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 33,700 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA’s service territory are below the national average.
ABOUT TRADEWIND ENERGY
TradeWind Energy, LLC, is one of the largest independent wind project development companies in the U.S. Founded in 2003, the Lenexa, Kan., based company partners with local utilities, cooperatives, environmental groups, municipalities and landowners to develop mutually beneficial wind energy projects. TradeWind Energy, the 2009 recipient of the Kansas Governor’s Energy Achievement Award, takes great pride in its ability to deliver low-cost wind energy while maintaining an uncompromising commitment to long-term project quality. The company is actively developing 8,000 MW of clean, renewable energy in 11 states throughout the central United States. TradeWind Energy developed the 250 megawatt Smoky Hills Wind Project located in central Kansas – the largest wind project in the state. For more information, visit www.staging.tradewind-makedigital.flywheelsites.com.
ABOUT ENEL GREEN POWER
Enel Green Power is the Enel Group company dedicated to renewable energy with a presence in Europe, North America and Latin America. It is one of the global leaders in its industry with a total installed capacity of around 5,800 MW and more than 600 plants in operation in 16 countries. The company and its subsidiaries produced 21 billion kWh of energy from water, sun, wind, geothermal and biomass in 2009
ABOUT ENEL NORTH AMERICA
Enel North America is a leading owner and operator of renewable energy plants in North America, with projects operating and under development in 20 U.S. States and three Canadian Provinces. Enel North America owns and operates more than 70 projects with an installed capacity of 788 MW powered by hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass energy. The company employs more than 300 people in North America with strong technical and financial expertise.