Monday, October 18, 2021
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Kansas wind energy just turned 20 and now it’s bracing for a quarter-life crisis

The base of a tower at the Cimarron Bend III wind farm south of Dodge City, Kansas.

MINNEOLA — The wind farm business in Kansas has hit its awkward adolescence. It’s still growing 20 years in, but unsure what the near future might hold.

If it wants to get through those tough years and continue to grow, it needs to find more workers, to figure out what to do with the dated-but-not-obsolete turbines erected two decades ago and to sort out a way to carry all that wind-harvesting muscle beyond the state’s borders.

Consider the burly, newest version of wind farming at the Cimarron Bend wind farm south of Dodge City.

“We just watch and listen to the towers,” said project supervisor Dewain Pfaff, who’s responsible for keeping about 300 turbines up and running. “If you can hear a noise we want to mitigate those issues as soon as possible.”

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