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Potential area wind farm changes hands
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Although any development would be years down the road, St. Louis, Mo.-based wind energy developer Wind Capital Group purchased a proposed wind power project in central Kansas, a company official said Friday.
Wind Capital bought the project – under development in Ellsworth, Rice, McPherson, Russell and Barton Counties – from Airstream Energy of Scottsdale, Ariz. The firm plans to continue developing the site, said Jan Anderson, WCG public affairs director.
Airstream had already secured leases from landowners in the area for the potential Coronado Ridge wind farm. Anderson said WCG purchased the rights to those leases, adding his company would likely change the name of the project.
“It’s in the very early stages of development,” Anderson said. “There is no time line.”
Demand, he said, would dictate the need. “It is several years away.”
His company has to now assess the market. “We know there are great wind resources out there, but we would have to find a customer.”
Wind Capital a few weeks ago broke ground on its Post Rock venture, a wind farm that will contain 134 wind turbines with a capability of producing 231 megawatts of electricity. This project, which will produce power for Weststar Energy, is located on I-70 near the existing 250 megawatt wind farm in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties.
In fact, Anderson said, Post Rock will be the second largest such operation in Kansas, behind its Interstate neighbor.
As for the proposed farm, Anderson said it is too early to predict how large it would be. But, once construction starts, it would take eight to 10 months to complete, if it were similar in size to Post Rock.
 “The assets we are acquiring from Airstream have great potential to develop into a first class wind energy project that can benefit the entire region, with additional tax payments to the counties and an economic boost to local businesses. An opportunity to expand upon the great partnerships we are fortunate to already enjoy within the local communities made this acquisition an easy decision,” said Ciaran O’Brien, WCG chief executive officer.
The previous owners of the project are also pleased with the transaction and the positive news it should bring to participating landowners and the surrounding community.
“Airstream is pleased to have found a strong company like Wind Capital Group to move this project forward,” said Airstream President Cameron Epard in a news release. “They have an excellent track record of building projects.”
“We are confident in Wind Capital’s commitment and ability to get the job done and provide needed economic development for rural Kansas,” Airstream Cofounder Kenton Epard said.
Founded in 2005, Wind Capital has projects in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin. Founded in 2006, Airstream has sites in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming.