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University of Kansas to be wind-powered by 2020 in Westar Energy deal

The University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and several other higher education institutions have signed agreements with Westar Energy to receive power from a Nemaha County wind farm at a long-term, fixed rate.
The University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and several other higher education institutions have signed agreements with Westar Energy to receive power from a Nemaha County wind farm at a long-term, fixed rate. Kansas State University

By 2020, the University of Kansas’ Lawrence campus will be powered by wind energy.

Like other Kansas universities, such as Kansas State and Washburn, KU has signed an agreement with Westar Energy to receive roughly 100 percent of its energy needs from a Nemaha County wind farm for a long-term, fixed rate.

The 20-year agreement provides wind energy for a lower cost than KU’s current utility bills, dropping fuel costs 22 percent, from 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour to 1.8 cents.

A spokeswoman said the savings could total roughly $500,000 in the first year.

Power will be generated at the Soldier Creek Wind Farm, northeast of Manhattan. The farm is expected to be operational by 2020.

“Being able to avoid the volatility of fuel prices and lock in at a lower fuel price helps us save money now, meet campus sustainability goals and have electricity from wind for 20 years,” Carl Lejuez, interim provost and executive vice chancellor, said in a statement.

According to the university, the Lawrence campus uses 130 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year.

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