State rejects Westar proposal to pass along cost of buying 8% of Jeffrey Energy Center

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TOPEKA — The Kansas Corporation Commission has denied Westar Energy’s request to pass along the cost of purchasing 8 percent of the Jeffrey Energy Center in Pottawatomie County.

The request would have seen ratepayers bearing the cost of the seven-month lease and subsequent purchase in August 2019 of an 8 percent interest in the center. Had it been approved, it would’ve cost customers an estimated $93 million over the next 15 years. The order, released Thursday said Westar doesn’t need the extra power to meet customer demand.

Prior to the purchase, Westar and Kansas City Power & Light owned 92 percent of the Jeffrey Energy Center near St. Marys with Midwest Power Company owning the remaining 8 percent, which leased it to Westar. The power generated was sold to Mid-Kansas Electric Company through a Power Purchase Agreement. The lease and purchase agreements both expired on January 3, 2019.

Thursday’s order allows Westar to operate the 8 percent portion of Jeffrey Energy Center for wholesale sales and retain revenues resulting from that portion of the plant for their shareholders.

The full KCC order can be viewed here: http://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/ViewFile.aspx?Id=a3473a11-528a-46eb-9195-7b5425701361

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