The Hoisington City Council voted Monday night to move ahead with an energy project through Kansas Municipal Energy Agency to buy electricity from the Buckeye Wind Energy Center Project near Hays. This could save the city $30,000 dollars annually in energy costs.
“This is a great deal for the City of Hoisington,” City Manager Jonathan Mitchell said. “The cost we will be getting this energy at is hard to beat and will save the city a lot of money over the course of the project.”
The council asked consulting engineers Sawvel and Associates of Findlay, Ohio, to review the offer from KMEA.
“My answer to the city if they should move forward is yes,” said consultant Joseph Herz of Sawvel and Associates. “We recommend the city to proceed with entering into arrangements with KMEA to purchase 0.5 megawatts of the Buckeye Wind Energy Center.”
According to Sawvel and Associates, KMEA has suggested to the city that it participate in the project. This amount is estimated to annually supply approximately 2,200 megawatts per hour of energy, or approximately 10 percent of the city’s annual electric energy requirements.
Sawvel’s analysis found the city’s level of participation of 0.5 megawatts was a reasonable amount and is expected to reduce the city’s annual power supply costs by approximately $30,000 per year.
As of now, the city buys 66 percent of its power from Grand River Dam Authority, 33 percent comes from the market energy source and 1 percent is produced by the city itself.
With the new plan, the power from the Grand River Dam Authority and the power the city produces will remain the same. The change will 23 percent will come from the market energy and 10 percent will come from the Buckeye Wind Energy Center.
“Sawvel used information provided by KMEA and Invenergy to assess the economic benefit of the project to the city,” Herz said. “(The) estimated savings is based on the city’s expected share of project output displacing energy that would otherwise be purchased from the SPP (open energy) market, and taking into account historical project energy curtailments.”
The Buckeye Wind Energy Center
Located near Hays, the Buckeye Wind Energy Center includes 112 wind turbines totaling approximately 200 megawatts.
A significant portion of the project output is sold to Lincoln Electric System (in Lincoln, Neb.) under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement.
The Buckeye Wind Energy Center has a staff of 12 full-time employees. In all, the company reports the facility will contribute approximately $3 million annually to the local economy.