On May 4, 2007, strong winds literally wiped the town of Greensburg, Kan., off the map. An EF5 tornado leveled 95 percent of the city, which had about 1,500 residents at the time, killing 11 people.
Now, John Deere Renewables is turning the tables, using the wind to help rebuild the city.
The Greensburg Wind Farm, which will consist of 10 1.25 MW wind turbines, will be built jointly by John Deere Renewables, Kansas Power Pool and the city of Greensburg, which is using a green rebuilding initiative as it puts the pieces back together, according to a press release.
If groundbreaking occurs this summer as planned, the wind farm could begin commercial production in 2010.
Kansas Power Pool, a municipal energy agency to which Greensburg belongs, will purchase electrical output from the wind farm.
“When the project becomes operational, Greensburg will be able to supply 100% of the city’s homes and businesses with a clean, green energy source,” says Martin Wilkinson, senior vice president of John Deere Renewables, in the release. “This project will create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
NativeEnergy Inc. will market renewable energy certificates (RECs) from the wind farm, purchasing about two-thirds of the wind farm’s projected REC output over two decades, according to the release.
The project will be formally unveiled May 2 at the grand reopening of BTI Inc., a John Deere dealership that was destroyed during the tornado.