UPDATE: Southern Power, Royal Caribbean among partners for Reading wind farm Featured

UPDATE: Southern Power, Royal Caribbean among partners for Reading wind farm RES Americas photo

Hours after Lyon County commissioners approved agreements to facilitate a wind energy development near Reading, a previously-unnamed partner stepped forward to announce its role in the project.

Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Energy, has announced it has acquired the 200-megawatt Reading Wind Facility, which will cover over 20,000 acres in eastern Lyon and western Osage counties. Most terms of the agreement between RES and Southern have not been released, although Southern says RES will lead construction beginning with groundbreaking in spring 2019. Construction should finish by summer 2020.

“Reading Wind celebrates the first project in our joint development agreement with RES America Developments Inc., qualifying for 100 percent production tax credits and is an important addition to Southern Power's portfolio," said Southern Power president and chief executive Mark Lantrip.  

Southern has actually released more information about the turbines. Over 60 turbines manufactured by Siemens Gamesa will populate the wind farm. The turbines will be 80 meters tall with three-blade, nearly-120-meter rotors connected to generators to create the energy.

There is an additional partner as well. Royal Caribbean, the cruise ship line, is on board as part a verified carbon offset program through what’s called the Verified Carbon Standard.

“This agreement complements our longstanding strategic initiatives to reduce the company’s emissions and become a more sustainable operator,” said Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Chairman and CEO Richard Fain. “We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footprint, both in the short and long term, and thanks to our partnership with Southern Power this is the latest step in our journey.”

When completed, the Reading Wind Facility will create enough energy to offset 10-12 percent of Royal Caribbean’s annual carbon emissions starting in 2020. This is Southern’s first such project to verified in this manner and 11th wind energy development overall.

2:30 pm Thursday: RES Americas wind farm gains final approvals from Lyon County

At long last, an effort to bring a wind farm to eastern Lyon County and western Osage County is nearing the end.

Lyon County commissioners Thursday approved a road use maintenance agreement and a payment in lieu of taxes agreement for the wind farm proposed by RES Americas 10 years ago. Lyon County Commissioner Scott Briggs says it's a relief to get to this point.

RES first approached the county 10 years ago, meeting with landowners and conducting preliminary research. The company stepped away from the project in 2011, initially saying wind speeds weren't consistently high enough to support further development, but the company and county resumed discussions in 2015 with RES saying technological advancements made eastern Kansas a more viable development area.

The PILOT, or payment, agreement will benefit the county to the tune of at least $300,000 per year for 30 years starting in late 2020.

Briggs recused himself from many of the discussions, including the financial, transit and legal talks, during the process because he has leased land for the project. He says most of the reaction to the wind farm, however, has been positive.

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Last modified on Thursday, 11 October 2018 19:24

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