MAC: Mines and Communities

Kansas City Power & Light To Offset Carbon From New Coal Unit

Published by MAC on 2007-03-20
Source: ENS

Kansas City Power & Light to Offset Carbon From New Coal Unit

KANSAS CITY, Missouri, (ENS)

20th March 2007

Two environmental groups said today they will drop legal action against a new Midwest coal-fired power plant after the utility building the plant agreed to offset its greenhouse gas emissions by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The Sierra Club and the Concerned Citizens of Platte County have agreed with Kansas City Power & Light, KCP&L, on a set of measures that will resolve four appeals pending before the courts.

KCP&L agreed to pursue offsets for all of the global warming emissions from the 850 megawatt Iatan 2 coal unit located near Weston, Missouri, which the company expects to open in 2010.

The company agreed to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy and cut pollution from its existing Iatan 1 and La Cygne plants to improve air quality in the Greater Kansas City metro area.

Full implementation of agreement will require either enabling legislative policy or regulatory approval.

"This agreement is a win for our climate, for the environment, and for the residents of the Kansas City area," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club executive director. "It is the latest sign that smart energy solutions like wind power and energy efficiency are gathering steam."

Bill Downey, president and CEO of KCP&L said the agreement "reflects the ongoing atmosphere of collaboration we established in developing the CEP, and proactively resolves differences. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to secure a long-term energy supply for Kansas City while improving air quality."

The most significant element of the agreement is the unprecedented commitment by KCP&L to pursue the offset of carbon emissions from its proposed Iatan 2 generating station,

The estimated six million tons of annual carbon dioxide emissions from the Iatan 2 generating unit will be offset by adding 400 megawatts of wind power; 300 MW of energy efficiency; and a yet to be determined combination of wind, efficiency, or the closing, altering, re-powering or efficiency improvements at any of its generating units.

These proposed offsets will be partly implemented by 2010 and fully implemented by 2012.

The parties also agreed to work together on a series of regulatory and legislative initiatives to achieve an overall reduction in KCP&L's carbon dioxide emissions of 20 percent by 2020.

Within the next year, KCP&L will also work with the Sierra Club to study options, including retiring, re-powering or upgrading its Montrose power plant.

Finally, KCP&L will fund several community projects including, recommendations of the Kansas City Climate Protection Committee targeting global warming reduction measures; additional monitoring of soot and smog pollution; and an upgrade to the drinking water infrastructure in Weston.

KCP&L will also file for approval of a net metering program within six months. Net metering allows a utility's customers to generate small amounts of electricity from rooftop solar panels or a small wind turbine and sell excess energy back to the utility.

Susan Brown, chairperson for Concerned Citizens of Platte County said, "The renewable energy investments in this agreement can revitalize the region's manufacturing economy and offer rural landowners a new source of steady income from wind turbines located on their property. The large investment in energy efficiency will also help everyone use less energy, reducing emissions and saving consumers and businesses money each month."

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