The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) recently found Westar Energy's proposal to invest in wind energy prudent but rejected the utility's request for an incentive rate of return allowed by Kansas law. The order also indicated that, in the future, wind generation could be subject to undefined operating standards and potential financial penalties that have not been imposed on other forms of generation.
As a result Westar Energy has suspended plans to move forward with additional wind generation. The utility will proceed with original plans to build three wind farms totaling 295 MW that was tentatively agreed upon in October.
‘We are concerned that the KCC's decision introduces uncertainty as to how wind investments might be regulated in the future, increasing their risk and inhibiting such development,’ says Bill Moore, president and CEO of Westar Energy.
Westar had planned to add an additional 200 MW of wind power to its portfolio by the end of 2010.