Our balanced portfolio is responsive to factors like fuel prices as well as regulatory and legislative initiatives.
KCP&L’s diverse energy mix results in affordable, reliable electricity generation. Like many utility companies around the country, we depend on coal as a price-stable way to generate the electricity needed to supply our customers 24 hours a day. We supplement with power generated from other sources, including natural gas, fuel oil, wind, solar, nuclear, biogas and hydro. The result: a balanced portfolio that is responsive to fuel prices, environmental concerns, regulatory initiatives and other factors.
Renewable energy currently represents 13% of our current mix and will continue to be considered in our future capacity additions. Renewables are generally not yet capable of providing uninterrupted electricity, so they can’t be relied upon to serve our customers all the time. We continually explore ways to broaden our sustainable strategy and comply with renewable energy mandates.
Our generating facilities provide approximately 6,400 megawatts (MW) of capacity for our customers. They allow us to follow environmental regulations while reliably meeting customer needs at an affordable price. Find more details on our current energy mix within our Great Plains Energy investor filings
- Coal: Coal-fired plants generate the majority of our electricity. Part of our Comprehensive Energy Plan focused on the stability of cleaner coal generation. One result is Iatan 2, a zero-liquid discharge facility that is one of the cleanest coal-fired power plants in the United States. The La Cygne Generating Station has also undergone significant environmental improvements to meet federal and state regulations for air quality and emissions. Today, 75% of our coal fleet has emission-reducing scrubbers.
- Natural Gas: Our natural gas peaker plants help us meet energy needs on the highest demand days.
- Nuclear: KCP&L is a joint owner of the Wolf Creek Generating Station, a nuclear power plant in Burlington, Kan. Utility companies often rely on nuclear power as a cost-effective way to provide reliable energy for base load generation.
- Wind: We were the first utility in the country to own and operate a commercial-scale wind facility in the state of Kansas with our 100.5 MW Spearville Wind Generation Facility, which is now 148.5 MW. We also purchase power from other wind energy providers. Additionally, we currently have two wind projects underway—Rock Creek and Osborn—which we expect to contribute an additional 500 MW. We plan to have these projects completed by the end of the third quarter in 2017, bringing our total renewable energy to a projected 19% of our energy mix.
- Solar: Solar panels atop Paseo Academy have a capacity of 100 kilowatts while teaching local children about our energy future. The effort is part of our SmartGrid Demonstration Project. We’ve also partnered with the Kansas City Royals to maximize renewable energy resources at the ballpark by installing a 120-panel solar system on the outfield canopy roof—the largest in-stadium solar array in Major League Baseball.
- Biogas: The three million tons of decomposing waste in St. Joseph, Mo.’s landfill continually produce methane, which our Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant converts into enough electricity to power up to 1,000 homes annually. We also purchase electricity from the Hampton Feedlot in Triplett, Mo., where up to 2,500 cattle produce manure that is converted into energy.
- Hydro: We've signed a 10-year agreement to buy renewable energy from Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District's three hydroelectric plants. This is the first addition of hydro power to our energy mix.