KCP&L recently announced a significant investment in environmental sustainability through new and enhanced energy-efficiency programs and wind energy projects.
The utility, which serves Lee’s Summit, has requested to expand its energy-efficiency programs to all of its Missouri customers under the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act. KCP&L also plans to purchase 400 MW of power from two new wind facilities in the Kansas City region, which will increase the company's total wind energy portfolio to 939 MW. The wind projects will provide enough energy to power up to approximately 124,000 homes. With these additions, KCP&L will have the largest amounts of renewable generation and energy-efficiency investment of any investor-owned utility in the states of Missouri and Kansas.
“These investments continue our commitment to move toward a more sustainable energy future in an affordable way,” said KCP&L President and CEO Terry Bassham. “We are committed to providing our customers with long-term energy solutions that reduce cost and offer more control of energy use.”
The first renewable energy facility will be built and operated by EDP Renewables near Waverly, in Coffey County, Kan. The second facility will be built in Holt County, Mo., northwest of St. Joseph, constructed and operated by Element Power. Each facility will be capable of producing up to 200 MW of electricity, and both are expected to be producing power by the beginning of 2016.
“These two new wind projects will nearly double the amount of clean, renewable generation in our energy portfolio,” Bassham said. “This addition will be another step in diversifying our generation mix, which has already seen significant reductions in emissions from recent environmental upgrades made at several of our power plants.”
These wind projects give KCP&L the opportunity to take full advantage of a federal wind tax credit that expired at the end of 2013. The utility said these facilities will be economically beneficial to KCP&L’s customers over the lifetime of the 20-year agreements. While wind turbines cannot yet replace base-load generation like KCP&L’s larger power plants, the wind farms are a cheaper option to supplement base-load generation than purchasing power from other locations. Using these wind turbines in place of other forms of electricity generation reduces fuel and other costs and also a more environmentally-friendly option for the region.
In addition to adding more renewable energy for all customers, KCP&L also filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission to expand its energy-efficiency programs to all of its Missouri customers. With the approval of this expansion, KCP&L will have the largest energy efficiency portfolio, on a per customer basis, of any investor-owned utility in Missouri and Kansas. As a result, customers will have greater control over their energy use and costs with more than a dozen energy-efficiency programs.
“We know saving money and efficient energy use are priorities for our customers,” said Bassham. “We are proud of our ongoing efforts to provide customers innovative energy-efficiency options. The availability of these programs demonstrates our continued commitment to helping our customers reduce energy, save money and improve the environment.”
If approved, the expansion will include several popular residential and commercial energy-efficiency programs currently available to some of KCP&L’s Missouri customers that are designed to improve lighting, provide rebates for recycling older, inefficient appliances and for replacing inefficient heating and cooling systems, among other programs.
The next step in this process is for the Missouri Public Service Commission to review KCP&L’s request. It has 120 days to review and make a final ruling.
For more information on KCP&L’s new investments in environmental sustainability visit www.kcpl.com/sustainability.