Kansas City to take total of 500 MW from NextEra, Tradewind wind projects

Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) on April 7 announced plans to increase its sustainability portfolio with the purchase of an additional 500 MW of power from two new wind facilities in its service region.

“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.

“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.”

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.

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 baseload generation, like at KCP&L’s larger power plants, these wind turbines will be a cheaper option to supplement that baseload than purchasing power from other locations, the utility said.

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.

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 U.S. 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.

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.

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Great Plains Energy (NYSE: GXP) is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Co., two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest. Kansas City Power & Light and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company use KCP&L as a brand name.

NextEra Energy Resources is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S., with approximately 19,777 MW of generating capacity, which includes megawatts associated with noncontrolling interests related to NextEra Energy Partners LP (NYSE: NEP). NextEra Energy Resources is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE).

Tradewind Energy is one of the largest wind and solar project development companies in the U.S. It delivers long-term power projects that tap into nature’s resources to produce sustainable energy.

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.