Kansas closer to capitalizing on wind energy

turbinewindmillKansas’ wind energy market received a big boost Thursday when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a plan to charge ratepayers in eight states the cost of constructing a 180-mile transmission line from Spearville in windy western Kansas to Wichita, with a connection to Oklahoma. As a result, the high cost of building the transmission line won’t be borne only by Kansans. There are still other regulatory and siting approvals needed, and the line won’t be completed until at least 2013. But as Jim Ludwig, executive vice president at Westar Energy, told The Eagle editorial board, the FERC decision “means we’re one step closer.”