solar

Kansas regulators will consider a compromise that would allow Westar Energy to increase rates for electricity customers by $78 million. That would mean $5 to $7 more a month for most customers. The Kansas Corporation Commission will consider the compromise during hearings starting Monday. Commissioners will decide whether to adopt it or craft their own plan.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Yellow umbrellas dotted a field outside Farley Elementary School in Topeka on Tuesday, even though there was no rain.

About 50 people standing in a roped-off area held the umbrellas, which read “Don’t Block the Sun,” as they rallied before a Kansas Corporation Commission hearing at the school.

The solar energy fans were concerned about a proposed $152 million rate hike by Westar Energy that also would set apart customers who decide to install rooftop solar and make them pay a higher flat monthly fee.

Cromwell Solar

Westar Energy faces a challenge — or at least it’s anticipating a challenge — in the growing number of Kansas homes sporting solar panels on their roofs.

Like other utilities, Westar relies on a pricing structure that largely depends on customer usage. The company charges a small monthly fee for customers to access its grid. But for the most part, how much customers pay each month depends on the number of kilowatt-hours of electricity they use.

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.

N A I T / Flickr -- Creative Commons

If you're reading this right now you're consuming energy and that energy has to come from somewhere.  Typically, "we’re killing people in foreign lands in order to extract 200-million-year-old sunlight. Then we burn it... in order to boil water to create steam to drive a turbine to generate electricity. We frack our own backyards and pollute our rivers, or we blow up our mountaintops just miles from our nation’s capital for an hour of electricity, when we could just take what’s falling free from the sky.” Those words from Danny Kennedy, the founder of Sunergy, are the heart of any call for more investment in solar energy.  It’s a hot topic and in Kansas City, Missouri were  80 government buildings will soon be leasing solar panels and getting cheaper energy as a result. In light of that we take a look at our regions solar options with Chuck Caisleym, vice president of Marketing & Public affairs at KCP&L and Susan Brown, VP of Public Affairs at Brightergy.

Two KC Businesses Build Largest Solar Canopy In Area

Apr 18, 2012
Beth Heap / Travois

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but collaboration might be the father of innovation.

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama said "nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy." But how close are we to large-scale use of alternative energy sources?