Westar launches push to meet business green energy needs

Westar Energy launched a new program this week that its leader called “a powerful economic development tool” that will allow businesses access to wind energy.

On Tuesday, the Kansas Corporation Commission gave its stamp of approval to the Direct Renewable Participation Service. That opened the way for Westar to announce Wednesday that it had reached a 20-year agreement with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources LLC to purchase energy from a new 300 megawatt wind farm that is being developed in Nemaha County.

“The KCC unlocked a powerful economic development tool. Many large companies want affordable green energy when they choose sites for expansion or new facilities,” said Terry Bassham, president and CEO of Evergy, which operates as Westar Energy and KCP&L. “We are harnessing Kansas wind to attract and grow Kansas businesses. Wind energy boosts our local economies starting with the new wind farm jobs and the lease payments to landowners hosting the wind farm all the way to the communities that grow as businesses choose Kansas.”

The program offers businesses a way to meet their sustainability goals by tapping into Kansas wind energy, said Westar spokeswoman Gina Penzig.