KCP&L invests in wind power, energy efficiency

KCP&L also plans to purchase 400 MW of renewable power from two new wind power facilities in the Kansas City region, which will increase the company's total wind energy portfolio to 939 MW

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Kansas City Power & Light Co. (KCP&L) invested in new and enhanced energy efficiency programs and wind energy projects. The utility has requested to expand its energy efficiency programs to all of its Missouri customers under the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA).

KCP&L also plans to purchase 400 MW of renewable power from two new wind power facilities in the Kansas City region, which will increase the company's total wind energy portfolio to 939 MW.

The wind energy projects will provide enough energy to power up to about 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.

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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., 20 miles northwest of St. Joseph and will be 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 online and producing power by the beginning of 2016.

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. Also, 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, these wind farms will be a cheaper option to supplement base-load generation than purchasing power from other locations.

In addition to adding more renewable energy for all customers, KCP&L also filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) 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.

If approved, this 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 MPSC to review KCP&L’s request. The MPSC has 120 days to review and make a final ruling on the filing. The programs will be available to all of KCP&L’s Missouri customers upon MPSC approval.

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Great Plains Energy Incorporated (GXP) is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Co. and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Co., two of the regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest. Kansas City Power & Light and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations use KCP&L as a brand name.

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