One of the primary reasons for the proposed increase is the utility’s need to recover costs for federal and state-mandated environmental upgrades at its La Cygne power plant. These investments will allow La Cygne, one of the company’s largest and lowest cost coal-fired power plants, to continue operating after June 2015, when major environmental regulations go into effect. Once completed, approximately 72% of KCP&L’s coal fleet will have emission-reducing scrubbers installed and all of its large base-load coal units are expected to be in compliance with existing environmental rules and regulations.”
Other reasons for the increase request include the numerous infrastructure and system improvements KCP&L has made to maintain the overall reliability of its electrical system and modernize the grid.
“Through aggressive and ongoing cost management, we continue to provide electricity at rates that are comparable in our region,” said Terry Bassham, president and CEO of KCP&L.
“However, government mandates have resulted in increased costs as we comply with environmental rules and provide cleaner power to our customers. This request reflects the significant investments KCP&L has made to continue to provide cleaner, reliable electricity to our customers.”
The increase request will help cover the costs of the environmental upgrades that began in September 2011. The improvements include the installation of baghouses and wet scrubbers, a new chimney to serve both units, and a selective catalytic reduction system. Construction is expected to be completed by June 2015, and is currently on schedule and at or below budget.