KCC denies request that would have cost Westar customers $93M

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Corporation Commission denied a request from Westar Energy Thursday that would’ve impacted Westar customers.

According to the KCC, Westar requested customers bear the cost its 7-month lease and subsequent purchase in August 2019 of an 8% interest in the Jeffrey Energy Center. Had this been approved, the cost to customers would have amounted to nearly $93 million in increased rates over the next 15 years.

The KCC order said Westar failed to meet its burden of showing its new lease and purchase agreement was a prudent decision for its customers. The order also said Westar entered into the agreement knowing it didn’t need the 8% portion of JEC to satisfy its capacity requirements and the settlement agreement would increase customers’ rates.

Before the August purchase, Westar and Kansas City Power & Light owned 92% of the JEC. Midwest Power Company owned the remaining 8% and leased it to Westar.

Thursday’s order allows Westar to operate the 8% portion of JEC for wholesale sales and keep revenues from that part of the plant for their shareholders.

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