Midwest Energy completed the expansion of its Goodman Energy Center north of Hays April 1, on schedule and under its original $30 million estimate, though final costs are pending.
“This expansion will provide a reliable and economical source of energy for our member-owners for many decades,” said Earnie Lehman, president and general manager for Midwest Energy.
When the Goodman facility was built in 2008, it was constructed to allow for future expansion should the need arise. “Participation in the Southwest Power Pool regional energy market, and the increasing amount of wind generation in the area, provide operational challenges that can be better managed with this flexible resource,” Lehman added.
The expansion added three new natural gas-fueled generators, bringing the Center’s total to twelve units. Each generator can operate independently or as part of a group, and can be started in a matter of minutes to ensure a constant supply of power to the grid. The twelve engines combined produce 102 megawatts, enough to serve almost a third of Midwest Energy customers’ peak electric use.
Burns and McDonnell of Kansas City, Mo., provided engineering and general contractor services for the project, while Casey Industrial of Westminster, Colo. was the primary construction sub-contractor. The generators were manufactured in Europe by Finnish engine maker Wärtsilä.