Fort Hays State

Fort Hays State University


Wind Turbine Installation

Project Management

Wind Resource Analysis

Project Summary

Studies Performed: PWRA, Microwave Analysis, FAA/NTIA, Detailed Financial Modeling, Interconnection Application, Project Oversight, Electrical Engineering Analysis, Electrical Loads Analysis, Geotechnical Analysis, Environmental Reports, Fish and Wildlife, Photomontage, Estimated Production Analysis, Draft RFP, Turbine Siting & Optimization

Fort Hays State University's President, Dr. Edward Hammond, had a vision to include renewable energy on campus and through his persistence a wind energy project was realized. Many challenges existed and were solved along the way. Originally the project was intended to be installed adjacent to the SuperRAND Radar Facility just west of campus but a new city ordinance required wind turbines to be installed outside a 3-mile boundary line from the city. New land was identified adjacent to FHSU property. WECC drafted initial land lease and easement agreements and successfully negotiated the final terms of these agreements and the project had a new home.

WECC was tasked with developing the entire project and worked with the University to site the turbines on the new land in compliance with local zoning regulations through creation and presentation of a formal Development Plan. Both the City of Hays and Ellis County have planning requirements that needed to be satisfied through the creation of a development plan covering topics including, but not limited to: Complete project plan; decommissioning plan; transportation plan; Roads Agreement; environmental and ecological assessments; land acquisition and agreements; and, civil, structural and electrical engineering design.

For the FHSU project WECC debuted a new approach to public sector project development designed to give the client more control over design and to reduce costs. Identifying and negotiating the purchase of the wind turbine and maintenance agreement separately from the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the balance of work allowed the client to save on the purchase of the turbine and to get a solution that is tailor made for their unique situation. By using our own team of civil, structural, and electrical engineers we were better able to control the design of the project to provide a system of checks and balances, improve technical quality, and to reduce costs for the client.

After identifying a suitable wind turbine for the project and beginning negotiations with the manufacturer, WECC drafted the Request for Proposal (RFP) and began work on the permit submissions for the city and county. Bids from contractors were analyzed and recommendations made to the University. WECC negotiated the Turbine Supply Agreement (TSA) and Operating & Maintenance (O&M) Agreement.

WECC provided direct oversight and financial management throughout project construction from initial site work through to commissioning interconnection. WECC negotiated with the Utility the interconnection agreement on behalf of the University along with a ‘buy-back’ agreement for excess electricity generated. Project oversight throughout the course of the project serves to relieve the client of trying to manage a complicated and unfamiliar process that they also might not have the manpower to properly oversee.  Project close-out included detailed final report and full compilation of Project technical, financial, contractual, management and planning documents.

Six or seven years ago Fort Hays State University began discussing development of a wind generation facility to support its energy needs while “fixing” the cost of a significant portion of that need.  When we had taken the project as far as we could we began looking for help. We were referred to WECC by a member of our alumni.  In the early phase of the project WECC staff provided us with the feasibility study needed to make the decision to proceed.  From there, WECC, working with University staff, developed a plan for completing the project. They provided the necessary expertise to negotiate with suppliers, general contractors, local government and the local utility.  They managed the project from beginning to end. Without WECC, and particularly Wayne Hildreth, the project would not have been completed as successfully as it has been.  Our expectations of the consultant were exceeded in every aspect.
Michael W. Barnett
Vice President for Administration and Finance , Fort Hays State University