Anaheim, Calif., May 24, 2011 — Duke Energy will use 73 Siemens wind turbines, each capable of generating 2.3 MW of emission-free electricity, to build its first wind farm in Kansas.
Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, will build, own and operate the 168-MW Ironwood Windpower Project in Ford County — about 150 miles west of Wichita. Topeka-based Westar Energy will purchase all of the electricity and associated renewable energy credits produced by the site under the terms of a 20-year agreement.
Duke Energy Renewables plans to start construction of the Ironwood Windpower Project in the fall of 2011. The wind farm — expected to reach commercial operation by mid-2012 — will be capable of generating enough electricity to power more than 50,000 homes.
Each nacelle (containing the gearbox and other mechanical components) that will sit atop the 73 wind turbine towers at Ironwood will be supplied by Siemens' new 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Hutchinson, Kan. The facility, which opened in December 2010, produces nacelles for Siemens' 2.3-MW and 3.0-MW wind turbines.
Duke Energy Renewables owns nearly 1,000 MW of generating capacity at nine U.S. wind farms – four in Wyoming, three in Texas, one in Colorado and one in Pennsylvania. Since 2007, Duke Energy has invested more than $1.5 billion to grow its commercial wind and solar power businesses.