KCP&L seeks to add 300MW of wind power

SPEARVILLE, KANSAS - Kansas City Power & Light is looking to quadruple the amount of electricity it generates through wind farms over the next two years.

The Kansas City-based utility issued a request for proposals from energy developers for a series of projects aimed at boosting wind energy by 300 megawatts by 2011.

KCP&L already owns and operates a 100.5-megawatt wind farm near Spearville, Kan.

One option for developers is to expand the Spearville facility by another 100.5 megawatts and sell the power to KCP&L by August 2010.

A second option includes providing an additional 100 megawatts of wind energy from somewhere other than Spearville by August and then adding another 200 megawatts by October 2011. KCP&L could either buy this power or own and operate the facility.

The company wants the proposals by January and would select an option to provide the initial 100 megawatts by the end of March, said KCP&L spokeswoman Katie McDonald.

A decision on the second half of the plan would come later, she said.

"We want to compare and make the most cost-effective decision we can," she said, adding the company will initially focus on projects built in Missouri or Kansas.

KCP&L is required to add 400 megawatts of wind energy to its portfolio by 2012 under an agreement the utility signed with the Sierra Club two years ago. The agreement helped clear the way for construction on the coal-fired Iatan 2 power plant near Weston to begin.

McDonald said that even with the new proposals, KCP&L will still need to add another 100 megawatts at some point.

The utility hasn't determined how much the projects may cost or how much they might add to existing electric rates. By comparison, the Spearville facility cost $164 million to build in 2006, McDonald said.



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