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United States

Utility to retire coal plants and increase wind portfolio

UNITED STATES: Utility Kansas City Power & Light (KCPL) has announced it will close six coal power units at three sites by 2019, while revealing plans to increase its renewable portfolio.

KCPL wants to source more of its power from renewables
KCPL wants to source more of its power from renewables

Since 2015, KCPL has been considering retiring some of its coal generation plants or converting them to alternative fuels, such as natural gas.

"When these power plants started operation more than 50 years ago, coal was the primary means of producing energy. Today, as part of our diverse portfolio, we have cleaner ways to generate the energy our customers need," said KCPL president Terry Bassham.

"After considering many options, it is clear that retiring units at Montrose, Lake Road and Sibley is the most cost-effective way to meet our customers' energy needs as we continue to move to a more sustainable energy future."

KCPL said lower wholesale electricity prices, low demand growth, the age of the plants and environmental requirements contributed to the decision to close the coal plants.

Last year, KCPL revealed plans to buy power from 500MW of wind projects, and this year said it would increase its renewable portfolio to 1.45GW – around 20% of its total generating capacity needs.

"In addition to our substantial renewable energy portfolio, KCPL has the largest per capita energy efficiency portfolio of any investor-owned utility in the region," Bassham added.

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