March 2001 - Noting that "the increased cost of natural gas on U.S. commodity markets has made wind generation an economical component" of the company's energy generation mix, UtiliCorp United announced that it will purchase the entire output from a 110-megawatt (MW) wind farm being constructed near Montezuma, Kansas, by FPL Energy, LLC, a nonregulated subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc.
Eighty megawatts of the total will be provided to customers in UtiliCorp's regulated service areas — WestPlains Energy in Kansas and Missouri Public Service in western Missouri — with the cost to be incorporated in base rates. UtiliCorp plans to market the remaining 30 MW to regional wholesale electric customers.
UtiliCorp has been selling a premium-priced wind product to its retail customers since 1999 with the power coming from a two-turbine wind power project in northeastern Kansas owned by Western Resources. With the announcement of the new, larger project, the utility has notified its "green pricing" customers that it will discontinue the premium product charge.
News Release - UtiliCorp to Purchase Power Generation From Largest Wind Project Constructed in Kansas - See UtiliCorp's News Releases March 14, 2001
News Article - UtiliCorp to buy power produced at Kansas wind farm
UtiliCorp Contact: George Minter (816) 467-3772
September 1999 - According to numerous press accounts, customers of UtiliCorp United's WestPlains Energy subsidiary are now "eligible to enter a random drawing to become among the first in Kansas to purchase wind-generated electric power." Beginning in August, the utility included program information in the monthly billing statement. Customers selected will be able to purchase one, 100-kWh block of wind energy to supplement their normal usage for which they will pay an additional $5.00 per month or 5¢/kWh. The average household uses 600 to 700 kWh per month. Participation is limited to 320 out of about 66,000 Kansas customers served by WestPlains.
The wind energy will come from the two-turbine wind power project constructed by Western Resources in northeastern Kansas; UtiliCorp has contracted for about 15% of the project's power output, or 600,000 kWh annually. UtiliCorp recently extended the wind energy offer to customers of its Missouri Public Service subsidiary, which provides electric service to 200,000 customers in Missouri.
UtiliCorp Contact: Basil Iwashyna (816) 467-3684