KCP&L Grows Renewable Energy Portfolio with New Missouri Wind Facilities

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 7, 2016) — Today, KCP&L announced plans to increase its sustainability portfolio with the purchase of an additional 500 megawatts (MW) of power from two new wind facilities in its service region. That’s enough energy to power up to 170,000 homes. 

“This announcement marks a significant investment in renewable energy, and will benefit our customers and the region,” said KCP&L President and CEO, Terry Bassham. “Over the past decade, we’ve transitioned our energy mix to become more sustainable and cleaner, and today is the most recent in a series of investments in renewable energy. We’re excited to announce our first wind facilities in our Missouri service area.” 

Osborn is a 200 MW wind farm that is being constructed by NextEra Energy Resources in DeKalb County just east of St. Joseph, Mo. Osborn is expected to reach commercial operation by the end of 2016. 

Rock Creek is a 300 MW wind farm that is being constructed by Tradewind Energy in Atchison County, near Tarkio, Mo. Rock Creek is expected to reach commercial operation by September, 2017. 

Close to home

Both of these projects are located within the KCP&L service area. This close proximity was one of the primary reasons for choosing both of these projects. 

“Being close to our service area allows us to invest back in the communities we serve,” said Bassham.“The developers have committed to hiring locally for the construction and ongoing operation of these facilities, which will boost the local economies in this region.”

Not only is the location good for regional economic development, but the location of these facilities minimizes the transmission risk that many utilities are facing with renewable energy. Both of these projects will connect directly to the Midwest Transmission Project (MTP) transmission line, which allows for easier delivery of the electricity within this region.
 

Keeping costs lower

“In addition to being in a good location, the cost of these projects made them very appealing to us to pursue at this time,” explained Bassham.“We believe these projects will bring significant benefits to both our customers and shareholders.”

These facilities will be economically beneficial to KCP&L’s customers over the lifetime of the 20-year agreements with these developers. While wind turbines cannot yet replace base-load generation, like at KCP&L’s larger power plants, these wind turbines will be a cheaper option to supplement that base-load than purchasing power from other locations.

In addition, both of these projects qualify for the federal Production Tax Credit. This tax credit allows KCP&L to pass savings along to customers, keeping rates lower than would otherwise be possible.

Environmental stewardship

Using these wind turbines in the place of other forms of electricity generation not only offsets cost, it is also a more environmentally-friendly option for the region. These wind facilities will reduce carbon emissions and help attain EPA regional ozone standards and position KCP&L well to meet state requirements for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

When these projects are operational they will increase KCP&L’s total wind energy portfolio to nearly 1,400 MW. With that and the company’s investments in hydroelectric, landfill gas and solar power, KCP&L currently has the largest portfolio of renewable energy and energy efficiency per customer in Missouri.

“Not only do we recognize the need to have renewable energy as a part of our company’s current and future energy mix, but so do the states we operate in, Missouri and Kansas,” said Bassham.

Missouri has the renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that require utilities operating in the state to generate a specified percentage of its energy from renewable sources like wind. These projects put KCP&L well ahead of RPS compliance dates and percentages in Missouri.

“There are so many reasons that make now the right time to pursue these investments,” commented Bassham. “We are excited to take advantage of such an abundant natural resource by adding these projects to our renewable energy portfolio.”
 

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About KCP&L:
Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest. Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company use KCP&L as a brand name. More information about the companies is available on the Internet at www.greatplainsenergy.com or www.kcpl.com.

About NextEra Energy Resources:
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (together with its affiliated entities, "NextEra Energy Resources"), is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S., with approximately 19,777 megawatts of generating capacity, which includes megawatts associated with noncontrolling interests related to NextEra Energy Partners, LP (NYSE: NEP), primarily in 25 states and Canada as of year-end 2014. NextEra Energy Resources, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. The business operates clean, emissions-free nuclear power generation facilities in New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin as part of the NextEra Energy nuclear fleet, which is one of the largest in the United States. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.NextEraEnergyResources.com

About Tradewind Energy:
Tradewind Energy is one of the largest wind and solar project development companies in the U.S. We deliver long-term power projects that tap into nature's resources to produce sustainable energy for our nation - real power that will keep our energy costs low. We've earned a reputation for innovation in the market, for our highly skilled and passionate team, and for our deeply held respect for the people, environment and communities where we develop our projects.
For more information, visit www.tradewindenergy.com.