Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, has put its first wind project, the 299MW Kay Wind facility in Kay County, Oklahoma, in operational on December 14. The wind farm is also Southern Company’s first wind power generation facility.
The Kay Wind project consists of 130 wind turbines supplied by Siemens and is capable of generating electricity for powering approximately 100,000 average U.S. homes. The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility will be sold under 20-year power purchase agreements with Westar Energy Inc. in Kansas and Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) in Oklahoma. Westar Energy has contracted for approximately 199 MW, and GRDA has contracted for approximately 100 MW. Both companies will have the option to either keep or sell the RECs.
Westar Energy serves nearly 700,000 customers in Kansas for more than 100 years. GRDA, on the other hand, is GRDA is Oklahoma's state-owned electric utility, producing electricity that touches 75 of the 77 counties in the state.
Renewable energy company Apex Clean Energy developed the facility and will offer operation and maintenance services in the future. It has years of experiences in over 12,000MW of diversified portfolios of renewable energy resources. Blattner Energy Inc. was the EPC contractor for the Kay Wind project.
The Kay Wind project fits Southern Power's business strategy of growing its wholesale business through the acquisition and construction of generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts.
"The completion of Kay Wind marks an important milestone for our company," said Southern Power President and Chief Executive Officer Oscar C. Harper. "Renewables remain a central focus as we continue developing sustainable energy solutions through projects that align with Southern Power's conservative business model."
Southern Power has also entered into an agreement to acquire the Grant Wind facility – a 150-MW project in Grant County, Oklahoma – upon successful completion of construction, which is expected to be in 2016. The facility is expected to utilize 66 wind turbines manufactured by Siemens.