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Kansas could see large wind energy export market

Oct 20, 2010 - Dan Voorhis -The Wichita Eagle - McClatchy-Tribune

Kansas has the realistic potential to see its wind power generation rise eight-fold -- if the regulation and infrastructure are put in place.

That was the forecast of Mark Lawlor, director of development for Clean Line Energy Partners of Houston, speaking today at the Kansas Energy Conference.

Kansas wind farms now have the capacity to generate about 1,000 megawatts of electric power. Meeting the state's mandate for electricity of 20 percent by 2020 would require that to about double, Lawlor said.

If the Southwest Power Pool, a group of utilities covering Kansas and Oklahoma and parts of seven other states, were all to adopt a 20 percent mandate, Kansas would probably have to double that production again.

And, if the U.S. adopts a 20 percent mandate, and power lines are built connecting Kansas to larger lines farther east, that could double again, to 8,000 megawatts, he said.

Lawlor's company is proposing to build a privately owned line from Kansas to near St. Louis to assist in that export market.