Kansas City Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP), today filed a rate increase request with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to increase base rates for electric service in its Kansas service area. The company is seeking to raise rates 12.9%. If approved, the daily increase for a typical residential customer is expected to be $0.41. The rate increase request process takes approximately eight months in Kansas. New rates will not be effective until January 2013.
“While KCP&L continues to manage costs and minimize the amount and impact of any rate increase on our customers, the costs associated with generating and delivering electricity continue to increase,” said Terry Bassham, KCP&L President and Chief Operating Officer. “Specifically, our investments in additional renewable energy and environmental upgrades at our existing facilities are important steps to building a balanced generation portfolio and ensuring that we are doing our part to improve regional air quality.”
Among the drivers for the increase are the significant investments the company has made at its generating facilities that will allow KCP&L to meet future state and federal renewable energy and emissions control mandates. These investments include additional wind generation in Spearville, Kansas and environmental upgrades at its La Cygne Generating Station, one of the company’s largest coal-fired generating facilities.
Wind energy facility in Spearville, KansasThe company’s first wind facility in Kansas, named Spearville 1, was constructed in 2006 and consists of 67 wind turbines producing 100.5 MW of electricity—enough to serve approximately 33,000 homes. That facility is already reflected in customer rates today. The Kansas Renewable Energy Standards Act, passed by the Kansas Legislature in 2009, requires KCP&L to have 15% of its capacity provided by renewable resources by 2016 and 20% by 2020. As a result, the company needed to add additional renewable energy to its portfolio in order to help meet the requirement. KCP&L added an additional 32 wind turbines, producing 48 MW of emission-free electricity. The new facility, known as Spearville 2, has been generating energy and serving customers since late 2010. The cost of this facility is included in this rate increase request.