SOURCE: Westar Energy, Inc.

Westar Energy, Inc.

April 09, 2009 14:42 ET

Westar Energy, Renewable Energy Systems Americas Celebrate Completion of Central Plains Wind Farm

Dedication Ceremony to Be Held April 14

TOPEKA, KS--(Marketwire - April 9, 2009) - Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) and Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES Americas) will conduct a wind farm dedication ceremony starting at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 14, in the O&M building at the Central Plains Wind Farm site, located at the intersection of CR 25 and CR O near Marienthal in Wichita County. The site is about 10 miles east of Leoti off Highway 96. The event will kick off with the National Anthem performed by a group of Wichita County High School students, followed by remarks and the operation of a giant light switch to symbolize the project completion. Lunch and tours will follow. Landowners as well as state and local leaders have been invited to attend.

Members of the media are welcome to arrive at 11 a.m. to take photos and get video of the wind farm site prior to the start of the event.

Central Plains Wind Farm is a 99 megawatt (MW) project developed by RES Americas and owned by Westar. Central Plains utilizes 33 Vestas V90 wind turbine generators and will generate about 310,000 megawatt hours (MWHr) annually of carbon-free electricity.

"Westar is committed to renewable energy and utilizing Kansas resources. Our Central Plains site has helped rank us among the top 10 utilities in the nation for wind power per customer," said Bill Moore, Westar Energy president and chief executive officer. "We are analyzing proposals for up to an additional 500 MW of renewable resources and if we receive proposals that make sense for our customers and investors, we will rank in the top five."

"Wind is an excellent source of clean, renewable energy and brings proven economic benefits to local communities," said Craig Mataczynski, president and CEO of RES Americas. "We are proud to partner with Westar Energy on this project and look forward to continue to bring the benefits of clean wind energy to the state of Kansas."

Westar is currently also investing in two other wind farms: Meridian Way Wind Farm in Cloud County south of Concordia and Flat Ridge 1 Wind Farm in Barber County near Medicine Lodge. Westar purchases energy produced at Meridian Way through a purchase power agreement and owns half of the Flat Ridge generation and purchases under a purchase power agreement the energy produced from the remaining generation.

Westar announced in February that it is seeking proposals that could add up to 500 MW of renewable energy to its generation mix.

Directions to the wind farm site: The celebration will be held in the O&M building on site, located at the intersection of CR 25 and CR O, Marienthal, KS, 67863:

From Leoti, drive east on Highway 96 toward Marienthal. Turn left (head north) on CR 25. The building is located 1 mile north of Highway 96, just north of O Road on the west side of CR 25.

From Scott City, drive west on Highway 96 toward Marienthal. Turn right (head north) on CR 25. CR 25 is the Wichita/Scott County line. The site is located 1 mile north of Highway 96, just north of O Road on the west side of CR 25.

Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is the largest electric utility in Kansas, providing electric service to about 679,000 customers in the state. Westar Energy has about 6,800 megawatts of electric generation capacity and operates and coordinates approximately 35,000 miles of electric distribution and transmission lines.

For more information about Westar Energy, visit us on the Internet at

Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES Americas) is a fully-integrated wind energy company that develops, constructs, owns and operates wind projects across the United States and Canada. RES Americas has constructed more than 3,400 MW and has over 15,000 MW in development. It has developed and/or constructed more than 14% of the operating wind projects nationwide.

RES Americas' corporate office is located in Denver, CO with regional offices located in Austin, Texas; Portland, OR; Minneapolis, MN; and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. RES Americas continues to seek new locations for wind projects as well as opportunities to participate in other forms of renewable energy. For more information, please visit