Kansas State University has signed an agreement to have about 50 percent of the energy needs for its Manhattan campus provided by a wind farm in Nemaha County.
The university says the arrangement with Westar Energy is expected to save Kansas State nearly $200,000 a year.
The agreement is part of Westar Energy's Renewables Direct program, which provides large customers access to renewable energy at set long-term prices.
The 300-megawatt Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center, a wind farm that will be built in Nemaha County, is projected to be on line in 2020. Kansas State University is one of 14 organizations in the state that will receive electricity from the wind farm.
"We are excited about this innovative approach to use renewable energy to help Kansas State University become more sustainable and save energy costs," says Cindy Bontrager, the university's vice president for administration and finance. "Sustainability planning is one of the key components of our K-State 2025 plan to become a top 50 public research university by 2025."
The university's savings will come from a reduction in the retail energy cost adjustment, also known as fuel factor costs. Under the Renewables Direct program, the price of electricity provided from the wind farm will be fixed for 20 years at 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour and replaces the fuel factor cost, which is currently 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The university's average annual consumption for the Manhattan campus for the last five years has been 113 million kilowatt-hours per year. The university also will receive renewable energy credits associated with the agreement.