Wind turbine installed at Kansas ethanol plant

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By Faith Technologies Inc. | January 20, 2022

Faith Technologies Inc., Juhl Energy, GE Renewable Energy and Western Plains Energy have partnered to install a wind turbine to power the WPE ethanol plant in Oakley, Kansas with clean, renewable energy on site.

FTI is a national leader in engineering, construction, manufacturing and clean energy and was chosen for this project because of its turnkey engineering experience. FTI provided the supply and construction of the wind turbine and collection system for the WPE facility.

Juhl Energy is a leading provider of competitive clean energy solutions and provided project development advice before and throughout construction.

GE is harnessing the potential of onshore wind energy with a broad family of smart, modular turbines that are uniquely suited to a variety of wind environments, with onshore wind energy technology and services that can help improve costs, capacity and performance throughout the life of a turbine.

WPE produces high octane fuel from grain products and currently produces approximately 50 million gallons of denatured ethanol per year. The incorporation of this 2.7 MW wind turbine to power the plant is the first in a series of projects that WPE has identified to decarbonize, with the ultimate goal of producing carbon neutral fuel.

“Every kilowatt-hour we use from the wind turbine has a direct effect on decarbonizing our production process,” said Derek Peine, managing director of Western Plains Energy. “We are simply replacing the higher carbon electricity from the power grid with 100% renewable energy. Depending on the wind speed, there are times when we operate 100% off the power grid,” he noted. WPE’s goal is to offset 50% of the plant’s total electrical load within a year.

“Western Plains Energy is at the forefront of using clean energy to produce fuel,” said Charlie Fredrickson, vice president of EnTech Solutions (a division of FTI). “Other organizations achieve their sustainability goals by purchasing offsets. WPE uses wind power directly in its production, creating the lowest carbon intensity (CI) fuel possible. »

“WPE is leading by example and is one of the first biofuels companies to take real steps to becoming carbon neutral using distributed renewable power generation,” said Clay Norrbom, president of Juhl Energy. “We are proud to help support WPE’s vision and are excited about the prospects for the renewable electricity and biofuels industries to work together to make a big difference in reducing carbon emissions,” he said. he noted.

“GE’s 2 megawatt wind turbine is the best-selling wind turbine platform in the country and is a perfect fit for a project like this, helping to provide affordable, reliable and sustainable power to our customers,” said said Dan Fesenmeyer, director of sales at GE Renewable Energy. .

The project was completed and commissioned in late November 2021. Further projects are planned to continue WPE’s quest to improve the environment with low carbon fuel.

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