I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
A. OVERVIEW -
In the last decade, numerous wind energy generation projects spanning the state of Kansas have come online. While it is clear that the nineteen wind energy projects currently in operation and under construction in Kansas have significantly impacted the Kansas economy at the local, county and state levels, specific data about the actual economic impacts generated by these projects is not readily available. This report provides empirical, factual data based upon reports and actual experiences of Kansas citizens, utilities, and project developers. The report then seeks to compare that empirical data against non-partisan academic studies of the potential economic impacts of wind generation for state and local economies.
B. KEY FINDINGS -
The key findings of this report are as follows:
1. New Kansas wind generation is cost-effective when compared to other sources of new intermittent or peaking electricity generation.
Dockets filed for recently built utility energy projects indicate that wind projects are providing Kansas utilities with cheaper power per megawatt-hour (“MWh”) than other forms of intermittent or peaking electricity generation, including natural gas. As a result, the impact on electricity rates for retail customers for new wind generation is roughly equivalent to, or often less than, the rate impact that would be caused by other forms of new generation.
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