Evergy and Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced that the investor-owned utility will expand its wind energy portfolio by 660 MW and reduce carbon output by 80% below 2005 levels by 2050, which is a commitment consistent with the Paris Climate Accord. Electricity from four new wind energy sites will be used to attract and retain large commercial and industrial customers.
“Reducing carbon emissions and increasing the amount of wind energy on our system benefits our customers by reducing operating costs and by making our operations more environmentally sustainable,” said Terry Bassham, Evergy president and CEO. “This represents a significant investment in the state of Kansas, helping to create clean energy jobs, and bring additional income for rural communities and school districts. It will also make Kansas more competitive for future economic development and job creation.”
Carbon Reduction Plan: More Sustainable and Cost-Effective for Customers
By the end of 2020, Evergy will have reached an estimated 40% reduction in emissions.
Evergy highlighted the key components of a plan to achieve this significant emissions reduction:
- Retiring all coal power plants in the Evergy fleet at the end of their useful life, which is currently estimated to be between 2040 and 2050, with the exception of Iatan 2 in Missouri.
- Continuing to make significant investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- Operating the Wolf Creek Nuclear Station until its license expires in 2045.
- Adding a small amount of natural gas generation, if additional carbon-free generation is not available within the plan’s timeframe.
“Without question, we are uniquely positioned to be a regional and national leader in the development and expansion of renewable energy,” Governor Kelly said. “Renewable energy is about far more than a cleaner future — it’s about jobs. It’s about adapting to the economy. It’s about innovation and business growth. We need an energy market that is affordable, efficient and meets the needs of our businesses and communities. I’m pleased to see Evergy commit to more renewable energy and wind production. My administration will continue to work together with stakeholders, consumers, businesses and industries alike, because at the end of the day, we all will benefit from forward-thinking energy initiatives.”
Additional Wind Energy: Creating One of the Largest Wind Fleets in the United States
Evergy’s addition of 660 MW will bring the company’s total generation portfolio to 4,535 MW. The energy from these wind farms will be used to support and expand Evergy’s Direct Renewables Program, which allows Kansas companies to access clean wind energy to become more sustainable and reduce the overall cost of energy.
Evergy plans to use the additional wind energy as an economic development tool to attract manufacturers and technology companies who are seeking cost-effective, sustainable and carbon-free energy.
“With the abundant wind energy in Kansas, Evergy is a natural partner for businesses that want to use affordable renewable energy. Our innovative wind energy programs attract businesses and boost the local economy,” Bassham said. “Our ongoing transformation to cleaner energy sources reduces carbon emissions and provides our customers sustainable, affordable, reliable electricity.”
Combined, the four new wind projects bring $180 million economic benefits to the region, including hundreds of construction jobs and dozens of permanent green energy jobs. The projects are:
- Expedition Wind, a 199-MW project being developed by National Renewable Solutions in Marion County.
- Flat Ridge 3, an additional 128 MW of wind generation being developed by AEP Renewables near Kingman.
- Jayhawk Wind, a 193-MW wind project being developed by Apex Clean Energy in Crawford and Bourbon Counties, with Evergy purchasing power from 155 MW of the site.
- Ponderosa Wind, from which Evergy will purchase 178 MW of wind energy from the site being developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Resources, south in Oklahoma.
“Evergy is a national leader in renewables. In fact, thanks in large part to our wind investments, Kansas now ranks No. 1 in the nation for per capita wind generation,” Bassham said. “We will continue to grow our renewable energy commitment and provide affordable options to help our customers meet their sustainability goals.”
News item from Evergy