Evergy, Inc., headquarterd in Topeka, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, along with Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, has announced it will expand its wind energy portfolio by 660 MW, and reduce carbon output by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. Electricity from four new wind energy sites will be used to attract and retain large commercial and industrial customers.
Courtesy of NREL
Evergy highlighted the key components of a plan to achieve this 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 2040-2050, 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; and
Adding a small amount of natural gas generation, if additional carbon-free generation is not available within the plan’s time frame.
“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 chief executive officer.
“Without question, we are uniquely positioned to be a regional and national leader in the development and expansion of renewable energy,” Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said. “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.”
Evergy will add 660 MW of wind to its generation portfolio. This addition will bring the total amount of wind serving Evergy customers to 4,535 MW, making Evergy one of the top five wind energy companies in the U.S. The energy from these wind farms will be used to support and expand Evergy’s Direct Renewables Program, which allows Kansas companies to access 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.
Combined, the four new wind projects are expected to bring $180 million in economic benefit 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, Kansas.
Flat Ridge 3, an additional 128 MW of wind generation being developed by AEP Renewables near Kingman, Kansas.
Jayhawk Wind, a 193 MW wind project being developed by Apex Clean Energy in Crawford and Bourbon Counties, Kansas, 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, LLC, south of Liberal, Kansas, in Oklahoma.
“Evergy is a national leader in renewables. In fact, thanks in large part to our wind investments, Kansas now ranks Number One 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.”