A proposal to bring a new wind farm project to southwest Kansas brought out about 75 landowners to a meeting Thursday night. There, officials from Westar Energy described the project and answered questions.
The new Ironwood Wind Farm would run along the east and south sides of Spearville in Ford and Hodgeman counties. Westar officials say the wind dynamics in the area make it the perfect location.
"The level plains of Kansas are ideal for wind farm development,” said Gregg Greenwood with Westar Energy. “That combined with the transmission line activity that we expect to happen over the next several years running through Spearville made it very attractive to us.”
Most landowners were interested in finding out more about those high-powered transmission lines and concerned about what to do when approached with an offer to develop on their land.
There are several places landowners can go to better educated themselves. Officials at the Kansas Farm Bureau say their legal department can help. Environmental attorneys can also shed some light on how to deal with the situation.
Westar officials say discussing offers as a group leads to better agreements individually and collectively. The company now plans to have another meeting with landowners. A date for that, however, has not yet been set.
The facility would most likely be built in phases starting with a 200 megawatt facility in Ford County, which would be completed by 2012. Another 300 megawatts would complete the project.