WaterOne Supports KCP&L Renewable Energy Program
WaterOne recently signed an agreement to purchase up to 100 percent of its Kansas City Power & Light energy from renewable sources by 2021. The commitment is part of KCP&L’s Renewables Direct program, which helps incentivize development of renewable energy sources.
“It takes a lot of energy to produce and deliver water,” said WaterOne General Manager Mike Armstrong. “Being good stewards of the environment is one of our strategic goals at WaterOne, and we’re proud to commit to renewable energy sources at a good financial value.”
The Renewables Direct program allows high-usage KCP&L customers like WaterOne to purchase renewable energy as a total replacement for their power consumption. Following an enrollment period to ensure minimum customer participation is met, a renewable energy source such as an additional wind power generation system will be built and connected to the regional power grid. The new renewable energy source will offset power consumption from conventional energy sources for all members in the program.
Energy from KCP&L is used to power WaterOne’s distribution system and facilities located throughout most of Johnson County. WaterOne applied for 12.5 million kWh per year, which will cover around 80% of WaterOne’s KCP&L power usage during periods of high water demand, and up to 100% of WaterOne’s power needs during lower demand.
WaterOne’s water intakes and treatment plants are located in Wyandotte County, where BPU is the energy provider. BPU recently announced that 48% of their energy portfolio currently comes through renewable resources, surpassing Kansas Renewable Energy Standard goals by over 300%.
“We’re encouraged by the effort our energy partners have made to increase the profile of renewable power,” said Armstrong. “As a fellow utility provider for our region, WaterOne understands that the future of our community is tied to investment in sustainable resources, planning, and infrastructure. We’re pleased that WaterOne can support renewable energy development at no additional cost to our ratepayers.”
The migration to renewable power sources is projected to yield lower power bills for WaterOne. Under the KCP&L Renewable Direct program, the variable “Fuel Factor” is replaced by a fixed-rate Renewable Participation Charge (RPC). Costs under the new program are predicted to save up to $20,000 annually for WaterOne.
Based on KCP&L’s timetable to finalize program enrollment and construct its new facility, the program could be in effect for WaterOne as soon as 2021. WaterOne committed to an initial 5-year agreement, with an extension option available at the end of this period for an additional 15 years.