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Westar to purchase energy from Oklahoma wind farm

TOPEKA — The largest electric utility in Kansas has signed a contract to buy 200 megawatts of electricity from a wind farm that will be built in northern Oklahoma, the first in what is expected to be a wave of regional projects sparked by the renewal of a federal tax credit.

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: November 7, 2013

That means a developer can place an order and write a check by Dec. 31 to a turbine manufacturer for a portion of the turbines he will eventually need, and the rest can be done later, said Matt Riley, CEO of Infinity Wind Power in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Only one major Kansas wind farm — Buffalo Dunes, with 250 megawatts of capacity in Finney, Grant and Haskell counties — will be completed this year. Contracts to build wind farms don't have to be signed until the middle of next year, and until then, much of the progress will go on behind the scenes.

It won't be clear until 2014 how many new projects came out of the renewed tax credit, unlike in 2012 when wind farms had to be finished by Dec. 31 to qualify for the break.

Developers last year installed 1,441 megawatts of capacity in Kansas, more than doubling the state's wind-power capacity to 2,713 megawatts.