Kansas City Power & Light lays out latest resource planning

Kansas City Power & Light may retire three coal-fired units over the next few years as it adjusts to regulatory and power demand needs, the utility said in an updated resource plan filed March 20 at the Missouri Public Service Commission.

KCP&L noted that it owns and operates a diverse generating portfolio and has Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) in place to meet customer energy requirements.

The most  recent resource addition was from KCP&L’s issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) in July 2013 to evaluate wind offerings. The wind facility KCP&L ultimately obtained was a PPA for a 200-MW facility located in Kansas. The PPA was executed in November 2013 and has an expected Commercial Operating Date (COD) of on or before Dec. 31, 2015. This facility will be used to fulfill a portion of KCP&L’s Missouri and Kansas renewable energy requirements.

In the company’s Preferred Plan, in the years 2025 through 2033, there is a 193 MW combustion turbine addition in year 2031 and a 150 MW wind addition in year 2032.

Based upon current renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requirements, the Preferred Plan includes 17 MW of solar additions. The next wind resource addition beyond the 200 MW addition in 2016 that is already under contract is in 2024.

It should be noted that renewable resource additions could be obtained from PPAs, purchasing of renewable energy credits (RECs), or utility ownership, the utility said. It is anticipated that a large portion of the solar requirement will be met with solar RECs obtained from KCP&L retail customers that have received rebates for solar facility additions.

The potential retirements of the coal-fired Montrose Unit 1 (170 MW) in 2016 and Montrose Units 2 and 3 (total of 340 MW) in 2021 is partially attributed to current or proposed environmental regulations including Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), PM NAAQS, SO2 NAAQS Clean Water Act Section 316(a) and (b), Effluent Guidelines, and Coal Combustion Product Rule. These rules will be continually monitored by KCP&L prior to the projected retirement years to determine if any adjustment to this Preferred Plan is needed.

While the MATS rule is final, there are several outstanding court challenges that have the potential to delay the 2016 compliance date for Montrose Unit 1. If the compliance date were to be delayed, the Montrose 1 retirement could be delayed as well. This could push the retirement date to 2020 when additional NOx controls (for future Ozone NAAQS compliance) may be needed.

The Preferred Plan currently indicates that Montrose Units 2 and 3 would be retired in 2021. Like Montrose Unit 1, this retirement date could be delayed depending on future environmental regulations. KCP&L’s current assumption is that proposed coal combustion residual rules will require the wet ash handling systems at Montrose to be converted to a dry handling system by 2021. Based on the current assumptions regarding compliance requirements, costs, and the assumption that an SO2 scrubber, baghouse, and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) would be needed by 2023 for Ozone NAAQS and Particulate Matter NAAQS compliance, it would not be economic to convert these systems by 2021 and the units would be retired. Given that the rules concerning coal combustion residuals are not final, this could change the 2021 retirement date. If the projected coal combustion residual rules compliance date were delayed, this could shift the retirement date to 2023 when additional environmental controls may be needed.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.