Evergy outlines plan to reduce carbon emissions

Published on May 04, 2021 by Dave Kovaleski

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In its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) filed last week with the Missouri Public Service Commission, Evergy detailed how it is accelerating its carbon reduction timeline.

The plan outlines Evergy’s goal to reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2045. Specifically, it calls for retiring nearly 1,200 megawatts of coal-based fossil generation over the next 10 years and adding 3,200 MW of renewable generation. As part of the plan, the 487 MW coal-fired Lawrence Energy Center near Lawrence, Kan., will be retired at the end of 2023. To replace that output, the company expects to add 350 MW of solar in 2023 and another 350 MW in 2024.

“Today’s net-zero carbon emissions goal announcement is a significant step forward for our customers, communities, and shareholders,” Evergy President and CEO David Campbell said. “We’re on a journey to a cleaner energy future while balancing the highest priorities of reliability and affordability for our customers. Our coal-fired fossil plants are now more flexible than ever and frequently operate as a backup to renewable generation sources. This flexibility allows us to adapt to real-time needs – running fossil plants more when renewable availability is low, or customer demand is high. This measured transition toward more sustainable resource options maintains the reliability our customers need.”

In the long term, the company plans to retire nearly all of its remaining coal generation by 2040. It will continue to operate its Wolf Creek Nuclear Generating Station and invest in additional renewable energy and zero-carbon generation.

“The announcement of significant growth in renewable energy will bring economic benefits to our region through more cost-competitive generation and investment in rural communities,” Campbell added. “We’re hearing more often from current and prospective commercial and industrial customers about their desire to move to more sustainable operations. This plan helps us help them achieve their carbon goals, as well as advancing Evergy’s emissions targets.”

Overall, the IRP establishes an implementation plan through April 1, 2024, and describes expectations for meeting longer-term customer energy needs through 2040. Evergy serves approximately 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri.