KCP&L

Texas Military Department

Dozens of people from Kansas and Missouri are on their way to the Gulf Coast of Texas as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to batter Houston and other parts of southeastern Texas.

Submitted Photo

Editor's note: This story was updated at 3:30 p.m. July 10.  

Two of the region’s largest utilities are taking another run at a merger.

Great Plains Energy, based in Kansas City, Mo., and Topeka-based Westar Energy announced Monday that they would seek regulatory approval for a proposed merger, which if approved would create a Fortune 500 company with $14 billion in assets and approximately 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri.

Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3

UPDATED Monday, 8 a.m.: More than 12,000 people remain without power Monday morning after storms this weekend damaged trees and power lines across the Kansas City metro area.

Kansas City Power & Light crews are continuing to repair power lines and restore power to customers. That work is slower with these storms than others, according to a Kansas City Power and Light official.

“There were a high number of individual outages so that’s why this restoration is taking a little bit longer than what we’ve seen in some other storms,” said Courtney Hughley, Kansas City Power and Light spokesperson. 

Bill Graham / Missouri Department of Conservation

Voyeuristic urban nature lovers can spend the summer spying on peregrine falcons as they mature from adorable fluffy chicks into fearsome predators, thanks to Missouri Department of Conservation cameras installed near their nests.

Those nests are in unnatural places: at the Commerce Tower in downtown Kansas City and the American Century Investments building near the Country Club Plaza, and atop the smokestacks at KCP&L's Iatan and Hawthorne power plants near the Missouri River and its Sibley Power Plant in Eastern Jackson County.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas regulators Wednesday blocked the $12 billion purchase of Topeka-based Westar Energy by Great Plains Energy.

Members of the Kansas Corporation Commission had concerns that the purchase price was too high and that the merger wouldn’t create enough efficiencies to guarantee lower costs to customers.

The order from the three-member commission called the proposal “too risky.”

Twitter / Missouri Highway Patrol

From Olathe, Kansas, to Oak Grove, Missouri, Tuesday morning, metro-area residents were surveying damage and catching their breath after a line of severe storms rolled through Monday night, causing widespread damage but no major injuries or deaths. 

The National Weather Service says two tornadoes touched down near Oak Grove and Smithville and officials are set to survey damage there and in Olathe. Schools in Odessa, Oak Grove and Lee’s Summit canceled classes Tuesday due to continued power outages and damage to some buildings. 

A judge has ordered Kansas City Power & Light to pay a journeyman more than $10 million for respiratory injuries he sustained while working at the coal-fired Montrose Station plant in Clinton, Missouri.

James Philpott has worked for KCP&L since 1987. As a journeyman mechanic, he came into routine contact with sulfuric gases.

“There were a whole series of haphazard procedures and lack of attention that KCP&L utilized when working around these sulfur and sulfur byproducts,” says Ken McClain, Philpott’s lawyer.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The historic Power & Light Building, a beloved Kansas City landmark, is embarking on a new life as one of the city’s swankiest apartment addresses.

With a grand opening set for Tuesday, the Power & Light Apartments redevelopment joins an increasingly competitive downtown market.  

Courtesy of KCP&L

Kansas City Power and Light has agreed to buy wind energy from two plants now under construction in northwest Missouri.

NextEra Energy Resources is building its Osborn wind farm east of St. Joseph. It’s expected to be up and running by the end of the year and provide 200 megawatts of energy. A little further north, Tradewind Energy plans to complete the 300 megawatt Rock Creak wind farm near Tarkio, Missouri by September 2017.

Kansas City Power & Light wants to build a solar farm in southeastern Jackson County, near Greenwood.

If the Missouri Public Service Commission greenlights the application next month, the solar farm could be online as soon as April.

“The sun and sunshine is free, so to the extent we can harness that, there’s very little operational cost to running this solar farm,” says KCP&L spokesman Chuck Caisley.

The Kansas Corporation Commission has approved a rate increase of 9 percent for customers of Kansas City Power & Light. The increase was a compromise allowing the electricity company to collect an additional $48 million per year from its 250,000 Kansas electricity customers.

KCP&L says the increase pays for power plant upgrades and means a cleaner, more reliable electric system.

KCC Commissioner Pat Apple voted against the proposal. He says Kansas customers of KCP&L consistently have to pay more for electricity than customers on the Missouri side of the border.

Alex Smith / KCUR

The Kansas City area may soon be home to a network of 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations capable of serving 10,000 electric cars and trucks.

Kansas City Power and Light Co. announced Monday plans to create the Clean Charge Network in partnership with Nissan and ChargePoint, a charging station manufacturer.

kcpl.com

Updated, 1:30 p.m.

According to an update on the KCP&L website: "We have restored nearly 90 percent of our affected customers. During the span of the storm, we had approximately 73,000 customers without power...Currently, we have approximately 6,500 customers remaining without power."

Our original post continues here:

Although there were no serious injuries reported in Monday night’s severe storms, rain and powerful wind gusts knocked out power for thousands across the Kansas City metropolitan area.

KCP&L: KC Would See No Pause In Solar Rebates

Jul 15, 2013

Kansas City Power and Light says it has tried to ease the sting of its request to Missouri regulators for suspension of some popular solar rebates.  The stated utility plan would keep the bulk of Kansas City inside payment territory.

The request to the Missouri Public Service Commission earlier this month asked some suspension of solar paybacks take effect September 3.   

There was a swift outcry over the payments mandated by law. The program grew out  of a 2008 statewide referendum.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

A Kansas City-based alternative energy company will protest a request by KCP&L to stop giving solar rebates in Missouri. The utility calculates the rebates are too costly.

The program is an outgrowth of 2008 passage of Proposition C to support a renewable energy standard. It required utilities to start offering solar rebates in 2010 and indefinitely.  

KCP&L argued funds have been depleted, and the utility has requested permission to stop offering solar rebates after September 3.

Theodore Scott/Flickr--Creative Commons

Updated 10:15 a.m Storms Aftermath Shows Power Restoration:

Utility troubleshooters from KCP&L have restored a large portion of service to harder hit areas. The utility’s web site indicated the Raytown area had 237 outages just after 10 a.m.

Six hours earlier there were 4500 without electricity. Missouri outages of more than one hundred customers in other area districts and cities include:

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation has stalled in the Missouri Senate that would allow investor-owned electric companies to charge consumers for infrastructure improvements.

Opponents argued that Ameren Missouri, Empire District and Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) make enough money to pay for improvements without levying an Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge (ISRS) on their customers.  Several Senators are blocking the measure, including Republican Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph.

kccg

Some of the first aftermath data from two major and back-to-back winter snow storms is filtering out of Kansas City city hall.  Adding two agencies to the Emergency Operations Center was counted as a positive to the Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee of the Council.

Those private or quasi-private operations served public transit and distribution of electrical power.

The Ops nerve center stayed open 24 hours in the storm of February 21, another 30 hours during  last week’s heavy, wet snow.  

Robin Cross / KCUR

Kansas City area residents have fought their way out of a second major snowstorm in less than a week. Some areas got upwards of a foot of new snow.

Frank Morris / KCUR

This snowstorm brought the added burden of power outages, so wet and heavy it tore down trees and lines. There was a heavier snow on the south side of the metro.

Annie McMahill / KCUR

The recent run of severe weather has resulted in extensive power outages and downed power lines throughout Kansas City, Mo. Tens of thousands throughout the metro are without power.

Because of the higher temps this storm (~ 33 degrees), the snow is very moist and heavy, resulting in accumulation on trees and power lines. This accumulation is causing trees and power lines to sag and is a greater risk of downed power lines.

KCP&L has called in additional personnel and are progressing through restoration. 

Power Outages Add To Winter Storm Suffering

Feb 26, 2013

An onslaught of winds and continued heavy snowfall  are dropping power lines indiscriminately around the Kansas City metro region.

KCP&L’s new “Smartgrid Innovation Park” is parked between the back wall of a pretty downtrodden, urban core grocery store, and an old humming electric substation. 

Council Members Comment on P & L District Subsidy

Jul 15, 2010
Photo courtesy of KMBC, TV-9. Click to enlarge.

Kansas City, MO – City Manager Troy Schulte's comments to the Kansas City Star that the city will have to pay millions of dollars for up to ten years to subsidize Power and Light District TIFs prompted responses from several Kansas City council members Wednesday.