New Westar Energy Program, Wind Farm Aims to Attract Large Customers
Kansas Wind Energy Can Attract Businesses Looking to Fulfill Sustainability Commitments.
TOPEKA, Kan. – July 11, 2018 – Tuesday the Kansas Corporation Commission approved a new program that gives businesses in Westar Energy’s service area access to competitively priced renewable energy. With the approval of the program, Westar announced it reached a 20-year agreement with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC to purchase energy from a new 300 megawatt wind farm to be developed in Nemaha County, Kan.
“The KCC unlocked a powerful economic development tool. Many large companies want affordable green energy when they choose sites for expansion or new facilities,” said Terry Bassham, president and CEO of Evergy, which operates as Westar Energy and KCP&L. “We are harnessing Kansas wind to attract and grow Kansas businesses. Wind energy boosts our local economies starting with the new wind farm jobs and the lease payments to landowners hosting the wind farm all the way to the communities that grow as businesses choose Kansas.”
The new program aims to attract business development to Kansas by offering businesses a path toward their sustainability goals with Kansas’ abundant, affordable renewable energy. Participating businesses will be able to claim a portion of the energy generated by the wind farm as their own, retain all of the renewable attributes and lock in a portion of their electricity prices for up to 20 years. The program is structured to add projects in the future to keep up with the growing appetite for renewable sources of our customers.
The Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center, which will be developed northeast of Manhattan, is expected to bring about 250 construction jobs and 15 to 20 permanent green energy jobs to Nemaha County. During the first 30 years of the project, landowners will receive more than $50 million in land-rights payments. The wind farm will be owned and operated by an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, Inc.
With its focus on renewables, Evergy meets nearly half of the energy needs for the homes and businesses it serves with energy from zero-emission sources. Nearly one-third comes from renewable energy, making Evergy one of the largest wind energy providers in the nation. Evergy continues to modernize its generation portfolio, increasing the percentage of clean energy available to customers and introducing new programs to help customers reach their sustainability and clean energy goals.
About KCP&L and Westar Energy: Serving approximately 1.5 million customers in Kansas and Missouri, Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L), KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company and Westar Energy are the electric utilities of Evergy, Inc. (NYSE: EVRG). Together we generate nearly half the power we provide to homes
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and businesses with emission-free sources. We support our local communities where we live and work, and strive to meet the needs of customers through energy savings and innovative solutions.