KCC approves Westar/Kansas City Power and Light merger
Topeka – May 24, the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) approved a settlement agreement giving Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy (the parent company of Kansas City Power and Light) approval to merge as equals. Under the agreement, the two companies will become wholly owned subsidiaries of a new parent company and serve more than 1.5 million customers in Kansas and Missouri.
As the regulator of public utilities in the state, the Commission is charged with determining if the merger is in the public interest. That determination is made largely on the satisfaction of eight merger standards previously established by the Commission.
In its review of the merger standards, the Commission found the merger, as modified by the Settlement Agreement plus one additional condition, is in the public interest. The additional condition requires the companies to develop, and submit for Commission approval, an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) reporting process within three months of the close of the transaction. The implementation of the IRP will ensure the merger maximizes the use of Kansas energy resources.
The merger standards include:
- a) The effect of the transaction on consumers
- b) The effect of the transaction on the environment
- c) Whether the proposed transaction will be beneficial on an overall basis to state and local economies and to communities in the area served by the resulting public utility operations in the state.
- d) Whether the proposed transaction will preserve the Commission’s jurisdiction and capacity to effectively regulate and audit public utility operations in the state.
- e) The effect of the transaction on affected public utility shareholders.
- f) Whether the transaction maximizes the use of Kansas energy resources.
- g) Whether the transaction will reduce the possibility of economic waste.
- h) What impact, if any, the transaction has on the public safety.
Today’s order can be viewed at: http://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/ViewFile.aspx?Id=4ab19c7e-9957-40f1-8fb6-dd49aad0966f
The merger application was filed with the Commission on August 25, 2017. Statutorily the Commission is required to render a decision within 300 days. The parties have the right to file a petition for reconsideration within 15 days of the effective date of the order.