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Google, Kan. utility to split 400 MW from Enel wind facility

and a Kansas utility will purchasethe output of a large wind energy facility now under construction in Kansas, thedeveloper announced April 8.

, a subsidiaryof Enel SpA, has startedthe construction of the 400-MW CimarronBend wind farm in Clark County, Kan., the company saidin a statement.

Approximately$610 million will be needed for the construction of the project, Enel Green Powersaid, adding that the wind energy facility is expected to be in service by 2017.Italy-headquartered Enel will provide financing through its own resources, it said.

Google, a unitof Alphabet Inc., andthe Kansas City (Kan.)Board of Public Utilities will each acquire 200 MW and renewable energy creditsunder long-term agreements. Enel Green Power said the agreement with Google is theenergy developer's first with a corporate client. The American Wind Energy Association,believing Google's strategy is just one example of a greater trend in thecorporate world, April 7 that corporate purchasesof wind-generated energy in 2015 were more than double the 2014 level.

The dealis the latest in a series of direct wind power purchases by Google. In 2015, thecompany, through its subsidiary GoogleEnergy, signed power purchase agreements with wind projects for a totalof 669 MW, according to data from AWEA. Theseinclude an agreement for 43 MW from the Golden Hills wind project in Californiaowned by NextEra Energy Inc.,200 MW from the Bluestem wind project in Oklahoma owned by Exelon Corp., 201 MW from EDF Group's Great Western wind project in Texas and 225 MWfrom Invenergy LLC's BethelWind Energy facility, also in Texas.

The purchases are part of Google's overall pro-renewable stance.Along with several other technology giants, Google recently defended the U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan, arguing that theproposed limits on CO2 would make it easier for the company to use renewables forits energy needs. Google says it supports renewables not only forenvironmental reasons but also because buying renewable energy can protect the companyfrom fuel price volatility.

Enel Green Power North America owns more than 2,000 MW of windpower capacity in the U.S. and Canada, according to a statement, and about 1,000MW of that capacity is in Kansas.

The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities serves almost 63,000electric customers.