Renewable energy developer Ørsted has commenced operations at its new 200-MW wind farm in Marion County, Kansas.
Called Sunflower Wind, the project marks the company’s 13th operational wind farm in the U.S. and has the capacity to provide clean energy to over 70,000 homes.
Apart from supplying clean energy, the wind farm is expected to inject tens of millions of dollars in property tax revenue over the next three decades. This revenue will support local infrastructure, schools, and emergency services without increasing the burden on local taxpayers. Furthermore, the project will incorporate an Aircraft Detection Lighting System to minimize nighttime light pollution for residents.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate this achievement and our first clean energy project in Kansas with the community, legislators, and our participating landowners,” said Ørsted Group EVP and CEO Americas David Hardy. “With Sunflower Wind, we now have 13 operational wind farms in the U.S., generating 832 MW in the Southwest Power Pool.”
The firm has also initiated a supply chain decarbonization effort, delivering renewable energy and renewable energy credits from Sunflower Wind to nine companies, including PepsiCo, Amcor, Stryker, Citizens, and Walmart's Project Gigaton Cohort, which includes Great Lakes Cheese, Amy’s Kitchen, Levi Strauss, The J.M. Smucker, and Valvoline Global Operations.
Ørsted aims to build its renewable energy projects sustainably, with a goal of achieving a net-positive biodiversity impact by 2030. Collaborating with The Conservation Fund and The Kansas Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the company is actively involved in land conservation efforts.
Throughout the project’s development and construction phases, Ørsted prioritized supporting local businesses in Kansas and Marion County. This effort has injected $13 million into the local economy through equipment and material procurement. Additionally, the company has invested $3 million in permanent infrastructure improvements for Marion County and the surrounding area.
“Sunflower Wind not only adds to the historic string of mega business investments in Kansas by creating new jobs and driving more private investment into our state, but it will be the first project operating in Kansas to install light mitigating technology that will help preserve our night skies,” said Kansas Governor Laura Kelly. “Further, Sunflower Wind has announced a great local partnership to ensure 3,000 acres of native, intact grass will remain protected as we continue to tout the ecological treasure we have in the scenic Kansas Flint Hills.”
Ørsted currently has about 6 GW of onshore renewable energy capacity in operation or under construction and aims to reach 17.5 GW of global onshore renewable energy capacity by the end of the decade.