TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that the state of Kansas has once again been recognized as a national leader in wind energy, with Business Facilities Magazine noting lofty rankings for Kansas when compared to all other states, and awarding an Honorable Mention to the Grain Belt Express project in the magazine’s Deal of the Year competition.
According to Business Facilities’ 2020 State Rankings, Kansas was:
1. No. 1 in percentage of energy generated by wind
2. No. 4 in Aerospace
3. No. 4 in installed wind power capacity
“I’m pleased that these national accolades have confirmed what Kansans have known to be true – our state is a driving force when it comes to wind power expansion, development, and innovation in our country,” Governor Kelly said. “I thank all the hardworking Kansans across the state who put in the work to make this possible. My administration will continue to support wind power initiatives that will not only allow us to maintain our top-tier rankings, but also create jobs and boost economic development statewide.”
In 2020, Kansas reclaimed the top spot it held in 2018 in percentage of energy generated by wind, as it was No. 2 in 2019 behind Iowa. Kansas also increased its installed wind power capacity significantly in 2020 in claiming the fourth-place spot.
Due to its significant economic impact and benefit, the Grain Belt Express was honored by Business Facilities Magazine with an Honorable Mention award in its national Deal of the Year competition. A new, 800-mile transmission line connected to the Grain Belt Express is expected to bring $8 billion in investment and thousands of jobs to Kansas.
According to Business Facilities, 2020 was one of most competitive years for the Deal of the Year competition, with economic development projects from across the nation submitted and judged by an expert panel of independent site consultants and real estate executives.
Grain Belt Express, owned and developed by Invenergy Transmission, has created a renewable energy project that promises to deliver significant advantages in access to affordable energy, and added infrastructure for broadband. According to an analysis on behalf of the company, this expansion will create up to $7 billion in electricity cost savings for Kansas and Missouri consumers by 2045.
“The Grain Belt Express project reflects our state’s commitment to smart renewable energy and aggressive economic growth, and I’m grateful to Business Facilities for including this exciting project on their list of the nation’s top successes,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “We’re on a roll in Kansas, and our team is proud to demonstrate the many ways Kansas is the nation’s best place to do business. We’ll be back competing for still more accolades that reflect Kansas’ position at the best place in the nation to do business.”
The Grain Belt Express will begin in southwest Kansas and wind through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Energy savings will result from the Grain Belt Express transmission line’s direct access to one of the country’s strongest and lowest-cost wind energy resources in western Kansas. This projected energy cost savings is in addition to the $8 billion in economic investment in Kansas associated with Grain Belt Express.
About Grain Belt Express
Grain Belt Express is an approximately 800-mile high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line being developed by Invenergy Transmission. It will deliver up to 4,000 megawatts (MW) of low-cost, homegrown clean energy from western Kansas to millions of Americans in the Midwest and other regions. Learn more at: www.grainbeltexpress.com
About the Kansas Department of Commerce
As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas, nationwide and worldwide. Our strong partnerships allow us to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses.