Westar Energy

www.westarenergyblog.com

Kansas’ largest electric utility, Westar Energy, is proposing a merger with Great Plains Energy to create a new company worth about $14 billion.

The deal comes less than three months after a Kansas regulatory agency rejected the original plan to have Great Plains buy Westar.

The new company headquarters would be in Kansas City, Missouri. Westar’s presence and about 500 employees would remain in Topeka as one of two operating headquarters. The other will be in Kansas City, Mo.

The Kansas Corporation Commission won't allow Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy extra time to renegotiate a new merger.

After the commission in April rejected the proposed merger, the two companies filed a petition asking for extra time to revise the deal to meet commissioners' expectations.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the commission rejected the request Tuesday. The commission's staff has recommended the companies start an entirely new case for the merger.

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Kansas regulators have blocked the $12 billion purchase of Topeka-based Westar Energy by Great Plains Energy. Members of the Kansas Corporation Commission raised concerns that the purchase price was too high and there wouldn’t be enough efficiencies created to guarantee lower costs to customers.

The order from the commission called the proposal "too risky."

David Nickel is with the Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board, which represents consumers. He said the only testimony in favor of the merger came from the two companies.

AgriLife Today, flickr Creative Commons

As a result of changing regulations surrounding the drone industry, Westar Energy has expanded its use of the technology and is using drones commercially. 

In August of last year, the rules surrounding drone usage became less strict, allowing non-pilots to fly unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes, if they earn a certificate.

For Westar Energy, the largest electric utility provider in Kansas, that means the company can use drones to help make maps, inspect equipment and collect data.

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Westar Energy will be constructing a "community solar installation" in Reno County. The company says it's an opportunity for customers to participate in clean energy without rooftop construction.

Westar says that any customer can sign up for "shares" of the solar power installation through their current account.

Residential customers can sign up for 1 to 4 shares with a 5- to 20-year commitment. A 1 kW share will mean about 150-kilowatt hours, or about one-quarter of an average customer's use per month.

Keith Ewing / flickr Creative Commons

An annual program meant to protect low-income Kansans during the coldest months of the year is set to go into effect this week.

Kansas’ Cold Weather Rule, established by the Kansas Corporation Commission in 1983, runs from Nov. 1 through March 31. It helps to ensure that electric, gas and water service won’t be disconnected from a person’s home during the winter.

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Kansas regulators are threatening to halt the $12.2 billion sale of Topeka-based Westar Energy to Great Plains Energy if they don't get details on cost savings and other information.

Kansas Corporation Commission took no action at a meeting Tuesday. But an order warned that if merger standards aren't met, possible action could include a request for dismissal of the merger application, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

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Great Plains Energy plans to buy Kansas-based Westar Energy in a deal that’s expected to close next year. Kansas regulators are starting the review of the $12 billion agreement. As Stephen Koranda reports, the size of the case could strain the budget of the agency that advocates on behalf of Kansas utility customers.

A joint application to approve the $12.2 billion sale of Westar Energy Inc. has been filed with the Kansas Corporation Commission.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Great Plains Energy Inc., Kansas City Power and Light and Westar filed the application Tuesday. If approved, Westar would be sold to Great Plains.

Great Plains is the parent company of KCP&L.

wikipedia.org

Kansas regulators have reduced the amount Westar Energy can earn on transmission costs, which will save customers about $18 million over the next 12 months.

The Kansas Corporation Commission made the decision Tuesday. The commission said in a news release that the savings stem from a complaint it filed last year with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, alleging that Westar had over-earned on its transmission costs.

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