Kansas wind farm expansion brings more renewable energy to KC


KANSAS – Enel Green Power North America began operating a 199-megawatt expansion of the Cimarron Bend wind farm in Clark County, Kan., bringing power generation for the entire project up to 599 megawatts and making it the company’s largest renewable energy plant.

The Cimarron Bend project was designed by Lenexa-based Tradewind Energy LLC, a brand that was retired after Enel Green Power acquired the company in March 2019. Enel acquired and built the Cimarron Bend project, about 20 miles south of Dodge City.

The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities, which serves Kansas City, Kan., has a 20-year deal to buy about half of the power from Cimarron Bend. Google Inc. bought the other half, part of an initiative it has underway to eventually become 100% powered by renewable energy.

Google already is the largest corporate buyer of renewable electricity at 2.5 gigawatts, enough to power about 1.5 million homes.The Cimarron Bend project led to a more than $1.7 billion investment in Kansas and the creation of more than 1,200 construction jobs and more than 60 full-time jobs in the state.

In addition to the Cimarron expansion going online, Enel also brought the White Cloud wind farm online, a 236.5-megawatt project in Nodaway County, Mo., north of St. Joseph.

“We are progressing at full speed towards a sustainable energy future,” Enel Green Power CEO Salvatore Bernabei said in a release.

Enel Green Power has three other U.S. projects under construction: the 299 MW Aurora wind farm in North Dakota, and two solar and storage projects in Texas called Lily (181 MW) and Azure Sky (284 MW).

The company’s three-year strategic plan includes bringing an additional 3 gigawatts of renewable capacity online in North America by 2023. It operates more than 70 plants in North America, with a managed capacity exceeding 6 gigawatts powered by renewable wind, hydropower, geothermal and solar.