Tradewind Energy Plans to Develop 200-Megawatt to 300-Megawatt Wind Farm In Cloud County

Tradewind Energy, one of the largest wind and solar project development companies in the United States, has announced plans to develop between a 200-megawatt to 300-megawatt wind farm in southwestern Cloud County.

Nick Coil, Development Manager for Tradewind Energy, spoke to the Cloud County Commission Monday, June 20th about their Skyview Development, which is the name of the proposed wind farm to be constructed on both the north and south sides of K-9 Highway in southwestern Cloud County. Coil told the Commissioners Monday they are in the beginning stages of what's typically, on average, a 5-year process.

Tradewind Energy actively develops large-scale wind energy projects in multiple states across the United States. Tradewind Energy was the developers of the Smoky Hills Wind Farm located 20-miles west of Salina in both Lincoln and Ellsworth Counties. Although they develop these projects, Tradewind Energy goes to market to find companies that will own the project, seeing it through construction and the purchasing of power.

Coil told Commissioners Monday that this fall they will begin collecting on-site wind data through the placement of three meteorological towers on the property of agreeable landowners. Following that, Coil said they'd begin a leasing campaign, stating there's approximately 10 to 12-miles of transmission right of way they have to obtain.

Coil said community support of the development is key. He said the fact that Cloud County has had a wind farm developed and built successfully is seen as a great positive to Tradewind Energy.

EDP Renewables' Meridian Way Wind Farm, located eight miles south of Concordia, began commercial operation in December 2008. The Meridian Way Wind Farm has an installed capacity of 201 megawatts.

Geographically, Coil said Tradewind Energy's plans look like a continuation of the existing wind farm, but noted that Meridian Way's lease holds stop just shy of their footprint. There's also the possibility that some sections of Tradewind Energy's developable farm could cross into parts of Mitchell County.

Cloud County Commissioner Gary Caspers said the project sounds like a great opportunity to him, and he expects the community to support it, as well.

For Cloud County, a new wind farm would mean new revenue, with the Kansas Legislature recently clearing the way for renewable energy devices to be taxed as commercial property. Starting January 1, 2017, a 10-year cap has been placed on property tax exemptions for devices that generate renewable energy. Previously, the exemption was good for as long as the device generates energy.