KCP&L opens first major solar-power facility

KCP&L's new Greenwood, Mo., solar-power plant.

KCP&L on Wednesday announced the opening of its first major solar-power facility in the Kansas City area. The 12-plus-acre facility is located at KCP&L’s Greenwood, Mo., Energy Center, which also has a natural-gas power plant that’s used at peak demand times.

The new facility houses 11,500 ground-mounted solar panels, which is almost 100-times larger than the KCP&L solar array at Kauffman Stadium. Greenwood’s solar panels will produce 4,700 megawatt-hours of energy each year, enough to power nearly 440 homes. 

“Solar technology is constantly getting better and more efficient,” said Chuck Caisley, KCP&L’s vice president for marketing and public affairs. “That translates into a more cost-effective renewable energy for our customers. We are investing in solar because of its relatively quick construction and our commitment to a sustainable future.”

KCP&L partnered with Sungevity to build this project. 

“Sungevity is very proud to partner with KCP&L on its first utility-scale solar project here in Greenwood,” said Dave Dunlap, Sungevity’s chief development officer. “We believe strongly that utilities will play a major role in solar energy’s future adoption, and applaud KCP&L’s forward thinking approach for this site.”

The new solar-power facility is just one example of KCP&L’s commitment to renewable energy. Earlier this year, KCP&L announced an additional 500 MW of wind power and new energy-efficiency programs for its Missouri customers. Missouri has renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that require utilities operating there to generate a specified percentage of their energy from renewable sources like solar. These projects put KCP&L well ahead of RPS compliance dates and percentages in Missouri.

“KCP&L believes in renewable energy, and for the last decade we’ve added a significant amount of carbon-free energy to our generation portfolio, including more renewable energy.  Currently, more than 40 percent of our retail customer demand is met through emission-free energy,” said Caisley. “We believe that solar is a critical part of our energy future.”

For more information about KCP&L’s sustainability strategy visit http://www.kcpl.com/about-kcpl/environmental-focus

About KCP&L:

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest. Kansas City Power & Light and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations use KCP&L as a brand name. More information about the companies is available on the Internet at www.greatplainsenergy.com or www.kcpl.com