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Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Agreement allows new Mo. power plant

March 21, 2007

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— An agreement between Kansas City Power & Light and two other groups will allow the construction of a coal-fired plant near Weston, while also requiring the utility to make some environmentally friendly changes, the groups announced Tuesday.

Among other things, the deal requires KCP&L to build wind farms and use new technology to make its power plants among the nation's cleanest.

The Sierra Club of Missouri and Kansas and the Concerned Citizens of Platte County said they will drop their battle against the construction of the plant near Weston, 25 miles northwest of Kansas City.

The Sierra Club estimated the deal could cost KCP&L hundreds of millions of dollars, but the utility would not discuss possible cost because the government will have to approve parts of the plan.

The new settlement would require KCP&L to:

¢ Add 400 megawatts of wind energy, although sites for the new wind turbines haven't been determined. The utility, which has a 100-megawatt wind farm near Spearville in southwestern Kansas, will build the new wind farms by 2012.

¢ Create 300 megawatts of energy efficiency by encouraging conservation and working with businesses and communities to lower their electricity use.

¢ Reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2020, including emissions from the new plant. Carbon dioxide is considered a key cause of global warming.

¢ Decrease emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide, major contributors to ozone, and other pollutants at the existing and new plants, called Iatan 1 and 2, and at two units at the La Cygne plant.

¢ Conduct a study of its Montrose plant in west-central Missouri with the Sierra Club to determine whether to close it or install antipollution controls there.

¢ Implement "net-metering" in the utility's service area, which would allow residents to generate small amounts of electricity from solar panels and wind turbines and sell excess energy to the utility.

¢ Finance several community projects to reduce greenhouse gases.

The projects include three more air-quality monitors for the region, upgrading the drinking-water infrastructure in Weston and creating a left-turn lane near the Iatan plants to help motorists avoid coal trains.

Bill Downey, president and chief executive officer of KCP&L, said utility officials were meeting with political leaders in Kansas and Missouri to discuss several of the issues in the agreement.

"Finding collaborative solutions is something we started back in 2004," Downey said. "We felt getting into this kind of discussion and bringing Sierra Club into it would be more productive than waging specific legal battles and winding up with partial solutions."

Bruce Nilles, attorney and official with the Sierra Club, called the settlement significant and predicted it would influence other utilities to react to global warming.

"KCP&L has raised the bar, and it will be impossible for any other responsible utility to ignore global warming," Nilles said.

The Sierra Club hopes the agreement will create enough wind power and reduce demand for power enough to make additional coal-fired plants unnecessary.

Susan Brown of the Concerned Citizens of Platte County said she was excited.

"I never contended they were evil," Brown said. "They were just working in a system that was backward and encouraged people to use and use and use more electricity."

Construction has begun on the 850-megawatt Iatan 2 plant, which is expected to cost $1 billion, but it has been delayed by legal action since 2001.

Comments

Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/strongest-climate-warning-yet

The Climate Debate is Over: It's Time for Action! February 02, 2007

With the strongest warnings yet from the international scientific community on the threat of dangerous climate change just published, it's clearly time to match strengths of scientific warnings with determined action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Strongest warning on climate change demands action

The latest report on the science of climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting in Paris, concluded that continuing polluting business-as-usual practices is likely to increase global average temperatures between 1.1°C and 6.4° C above 1980-1999 levels by 2095, leading to more droughts, heatwaves, floods and stronger hurricanes, rapid melting of ice-sheets and rapidly rising sea levels.

Stephanie Tunmore, Greenpeace climate campaigner who was at the meeting in Paris said, "The good news is our understanding of the climate system and our impact on it has improved immensely. The bad news is that the more we know, the more precarious the future looks. There's a clear message to Governments here, and the window for action is narrowing fast. If the last IPCC report was a wake up call, this one is a screaming siren."

The main findings of the IPCC report are: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/strongest-climate-warning-yet

snowWI 7 years, 8 months ago

I would definitiely not want to live in Platte County Missouri. That county now has two large coal power plants. In fact, that would make for a total of 8-9 power generating stations in the KC region. Cheap electricity comes at a very large price. California has no coal power plants at all. I would be willing to pay higher rates any day instead of living right near all these power plants in this part of the country. Click on any state you want to in order to find out where the power plants are located!!! Notice the ridiculously high number in the Midwest and Ohio Valley areas. http://www.cleartheair.org/dirtypower/map.html

snowWI 7 years, 8 months ago

I wonder what percentage of the power generated from the 2nd plant in Platte County will be used in other states and NOT in the KC area.

xepwmm 7 years, 7 months ago

Looks like blackmail is alive and well in the enviro world(how much were the lawyers for the enviros paid?), wind power makes people feel better but has no real impact on energy usage, snowWI is right on the energy being shipped out of state, usually to highly environmentally restricted states. I believe a solution to this is an energy tax on states. i.e. if your state uses more energy than your state produces you pay a tax on each energy unit equivelent over what you produce. This would encourage states to either build their own energy generation (built to their constituents environmental constraints) or the tax can be used to upgrade old coal plants/ build more alternative energy generators/ or just cut a check to those folks living close by the plants. I grew up where you can see KCPL's montrose coal plant, no ill so far. :)

snowWI 7 years, 6 months ago

I just find it ridiculous that KCP&L builds another large coal plant right near where the only ski area is in the KC metro. Also, the coal plant will use the old pulverized technology with no chance at reducing the massive carbon dioxide emissions.

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