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Kansas-based utility Westar Energy has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to increase its renewable energy resources by at least 80 MW. The utility is looking to enter long-term contracts with one or more renewable energy project developers, with the new generation coming online by 2016.

Historically, most renewable energy in Kansas has been wind, but Westar says any renewable energy project will be considered if it meets the utility's objectives. The company explains that its ultimate decision to add more renewable resources will hinge on overall cost, reliability, adequate transmission capacity to deliver the energy to its customers, the status of state and federal policy on renewable resources, and regulatory treatment. Westar will also give preference to projects in Kansas.

“With federal regulation of greenhouse gases coming, good market prices for wind energy and the next milestone for the state’s requirement on the horizon, it’s time to consider adding more renewable energy,” says Mark Ruelle, Westar’s president and CEO. “If developers submit projects that help us meet these requirements and that are good for our customers, we’ll move forward.”

Westar, which has almost 700 MW of renewables in its energy portfolio, says it was the first Kansas utility to provide wind energy on a commercial scale with a pilot program almost 15 years ago. In 2007, Westar solicited bids for renewable energy projects that culminated in adding nearly 300 MW of wind energy. In 2012, Westar Energy then added almost 400 MW from two wind farms.

More information regarding the new RFP is available at westarenergy.com/rfp. Proposals are due Sept. 13.


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