Some Kansas officials question the value of data collected in annual reports meant to identify state buildings using excessive amounts of energy.

The Department of Administration presented such a report Tuesday to a joint legislative committee that oversees state construction projects. The report said 120 of the 328 buildings surveyed, or nearly 37 percent, had excessive energy use over the past five years.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Some Kansas lawmakers are considering their options for fighting federal regulations on carbon emissions while at the same time allowing the state to develop a plan to meet those rules.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says the final version of a federal rule for cutting carbon emissions from power plants is "twice as bad" for the state as the original version outlined a year ago.

The Republican governor said Monday that changes announced by Democratic President Barack Obama will force Kansas to reconsider how it responds.

David J Laporte, flickr Creative Commons

Westar Energy says it will buy energy from a new wind farm to be built in Pratt County.

The utility company announced yesterday that it will buy the energy from a 200-megawatt farm built for it by an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources.

The Ninnescah wind farm is expected to be built late this year or early next year and be operational by late 2016.

The company said in a news release that the new wind energy purchase will increase Westar's renewable energy commitment to nearly 1,300 megawatts.

Stephen Koranda

The wind power industry, free-market business groups, the governor and lawmakers have unveiled a compromise to overhaul the Kansas renewable energy standard. As Stephen Koranda reports, it would remove the mandate that 20 percent of power generation come from renewable sources and replace it with a voluntary goal.

Some advocacy groups get something they’ve wanted, eliminating the mandate for renewable energy. Mike O’Neal is president and CEO of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

The Kansas Corporation Commission has approved a route for a Texas company's proposed $7 billion high-voltage line that would funnel power from wind farms in southwest Kansas to out-of-state sites.

The KCC has approved Clean Line Energy's route for the line. In Kansas, the transmission line would run 370 miles from wind farms in Ford County to Missouri, across Illinois and into Indiana. Clean Line still needs approval in Missouri and Illinois.

Westar Energy plans to purchase 200 megawatts of electricity from a northern Oklahoma wind farm expected to begin operating in late 2016.

The Topeka-based utility announced Wednesday that it had reached a purchase agreement with Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy.

Westar already has about 700 megawatts of electricity from renewable resources.

Apex plans to start building the 18,000-acre wind farm in 2015. The site is about six miles south of Arkansas City, Kan., where city manager Nickolaus Hernandez says the project is expected to boost the local economy.

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A subsidiary of Koch Energy Services has entered into an agreement to buy an electric power generating facility in Texas.

Westar Seeks Renewable Energy Bids

Aug 23, 2013

Westar Energy Inc. is trying to expand its renewable energy portfolio.

The state's largest electric utility says it's accepting proposals from developers to add at least 80 megawatts of wind energy production, through September 13. Westar wants to enter into long-term contracts to help it meet state renewable energy requirements for 2016. The standard requires utilities to get 15 percent of their peak power through renewable sources.

Westar has almost 700 megawatts of renewable energy resources in Kansas, in addition to its coal and natural gas power plants.

A Kansas consumer advocate agency is saying that Westar Energy, Inc. can make necessary environmental improvements at its power plants with a smaller rate increase than it requested.

An attorney for the Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board filed testimony with the Kansas Corporation Commission yesterday, saying Westar could reduce its rate increase request by $1 million and still accomplish its goals.

CURB also argues against Westar's plan to shift the burden of the increase away from large businesses to residential customers.