A company that designs and builds aerostructures for both commercial and defense customers, Spirit AeroSystems announced that Kansas public utility regulators cleared a path for the company's complete conversion to renewable wind-generated electricity for its 12.8 million square-foot aerospace manufacturing site in Wichita, Kansas.
The Wichita site, which also serves as the company's headquarters, produces large structural components, such as fuselages and engine nacelles for military and commercial aircraft.
According to company officials, utility regulators at the Kansas Corporation Commission approved a 10-year agreement filed jointly by the company and Evergy, Inc. that provides an updated electric rate structure. In return, Spirit has agreed to purchase Kansas wind-generated electricity, continue investing in capital improvements and make efforts to maintain stable or expanded operations in Wichita.
"Kansas is known for wind, and Spirit Wichita is known for building airplanes. The two will now be directly connected in a way that helps both the environment and our ability to compete," said Spirit AeroSystems Senior Vice President for Operations and Chief Procurement Officer Ron Rabe. "This new agreement is important to Spirit because it helps maintain the company as a vibrant and growing contributor to the Kansas economy. The new electric rates we will be paying address price disadvantages for electric service Spirit has experienced in Kansas compared to our operations in other states."
Beginning in late 2020, Spirit's Wichita site will receive its electricity from the Flat Ridge 3 wind farm located near Kingman, Kan. The Flat Ridge 3 wind farm is expected to generate about 130 MW of power once the project is complete by the end of 2020.
With headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, Spirit operates sites in the U.S., U.K., France and Malaysia. The company's core products include fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components for the world's premier aircraft. Spirit AeroSystems focuses on affordable, innovative composite and aluminum manufacturing solutions to support customers around the globe.