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How to Make the Grid Secure

LCG March 1, 2021--February’s winter weather has brought a new level of uncertainty to the Texas grid, on top of rapid renewables growth and hot summer weather. Not only did the blackouts solidify the need to plan for extreme weather in winter and summer, but they also brought Texas residents, the governor, and the legislature into a public conversation about demand-supply planning.

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Long Ridge Energy Announces Plans to Allow Transition to 100 Percent Hydrogen

LCG, March 4, 2021--Ohio's Long Ridge Energy Generation is retrofitting its 485-MW combined-cycle power plant to use a blend of natural gas and carbon-free hydrogen, making it the nation's first large gas turbine plant to transition operations to hydrogen fuel.

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Industry News

Siemens to Supply Turbines to 280-MW Wind Project in Kansas

LCG, January 13, 2016--Siemens announced Monday that it was awarded an order from Westar Energy, Inc. to supply 122 wind turbines for the planned 280-MW, Western Plains Wind Farm project in Kansas. The installation of the wind turbines is scheduled to commence this summer, and the project is to begin operations by early next year.

The Western Plains Wind Farm site is located approximately 100 miles west of Hutchinson, Kansas. The project will feature Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbines, each with a power rating of 2.3 MW and 53-meter blades. The wind turbine blades will be manufactured at the Siemens blade facility in Fort Madison, Iowa, and the nacelles will be assembled at the Siemens facility in Hutchinson, Kansas. Siemens will support the installation and provide service and maintenance, including advanced remote monitoring and diagnostics.

The CEO Onshore of the Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division stated, "Wind power is becoming an increasingly important part of the U.S. energy mix. We are looking forward to working with Westar Energy on this large and important project. Continued technological innovation to drive down cost along with recent congressional action providing long-term certainty for renewable energy sets the stage for continued wind power growth in America."

The Western Plains Wind Farm will increase Westar's renewable energy total capacity to over 1,500 MW.

The Kansas legislature passed the Renewable Energy Standards Act and created a state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in 2009. The RPS required the state's investor-owned utilities (IOU's) and electric cooperatives to generate or purchase at least 20 percent of the affected utility's peak demand from renewable resources for each calendar year beginning in 2020. However, in 2015 new legislation was passed that changes the 20 percent standard from a requirement to a voluntary goal.

In December 2015, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 extended the expiration date for the production tax credit to December 31, 2019, for wind facilities commencing construction. There is a phase-down of the credit beginning for wind projects commencing construction after December 31, 2016.
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