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Midwest Energy more than doubles Kansas Wind Energy purchases
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Midwest Energy has signed a purchased power agreement with Westar Energy of Topeka for 57 megawatts of wind energy from the Kingman Wind Energy Center, scheduled for completion by early 2017.
“This agreement provides both economic and environmental benefits,” said Earnie Lehman, president and general manager at Midwest Energy. “It allows us to use more Kansas renewable resources to meet the needs of our Kansas customer-owners,” Lehman continued. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
The Kingman agreement will bring Midwest Energy’s total wind energy supply to 106 megawatts. Midwest Energy purchases 49 megawatts of wind under contract from the Smoky Hill Wind Farm in Lincoln County.  
Considering Midwest’s 2015 retail peak load of 316 megawatts and the expected availability of energy from the wind farm, “this means that by 2017, more than a quarter of our customer-owner’s energy will be coming from Kansas wind,” Lehman said.
Hays-based Midwest Energy is a customer-owned cooperative serving 50,000 electric and 42,000 natural gas customers in 40 central and western Kansas counties. A leader in renewable energy, Midwest Energy was among the first Kansas utilities to begin purchasing wind-generated electricity in 2001. It became the first utility in Kansas to offer a community solar option, building a one megawatt solar array in Colby,  in 2015.