power plant at Iatan closer to reality
KCP&L is getting one step closer to
receiving all permits needed to build a second power plant
at Iatan in Platte County.
On Jan. 31, Missouri Department of Natural
Resources granted KCP&L an Air Pollution Permit for
the Iatan II plant, which is scheduled to begin construction
in late 2006. The second plant is scheduled to be built
next to Iatan I, five miles north of Weston.
The latest permit allows KCP&L to
construct a coal-fired boiler, a fuel oil-fired auxiliary
boiler, associated storage, handling and pollution control
equipment, a fuel oil storage tank and a landfill. It
will also allow for the modification of the existing coal-fired
generating unit to increase the heat input and upgrade
the pollution control system.
Susan Brown of Concerned Citizens of Platte
County, a community group opposing the plant's construction,
said, It is disappointing that KCP&L has been
rewarded with a construction permit for their new plant
despite evidence pointing toward wrongdoing (referring
to allegations of KCP&L violating permit).
KCP&L submitted its application for
the air pollution permit in May 2005. Brown said she anticipates
that the permit will be appealed and she supports that
According to William Riggins, vice-president
of law and environmental at KCP&L, before construction
can begin on the new plant, the firm must receive at least
two additional permits. The Corp of Engineers still must
issue a Wetlands Permit and a Findings of No Significant
Impact, which encompasses several factors including wetlands,
endangered species and air quality.
The Iatan II plant is estimated to cost
KCP&L $700 million for their share in the new facility.
Anticipated completion date of the new coal-burning facility
is in 2010.
KCP&L also announced last week that
it has filed a request with the Missouri Public Service
Commission and the Kansas Corporation Commission to increase
rates for electric service for the first time in 20 years.
Riggins said their decision was not influenced
by the construction of Iatan II but instead the increase
is needed because of their service territorys continued
growth over the last several years.
Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) has estimated
the population growth will be 20 percent over the next
25 years, which translates into a demand on electricity
by about 2% a year, said Riggins.
Riggins stated the anticipated growth
combined with higher demand per household is cause for
the needed request of a rate increase at this time.
Put that all together and were
anticipating a two percent annual increase in demand and
thats what is generating an increase," stated
Over the last 20 years, KCP&L has
moved in the opposite direction of other electric companies
across the nation and decreased rates. Now Riggins said
they have been forced to join other companies that are
also requesting rate increases brought on by the economy.
We have decreased rates several
times and we havent seen an increase in 20 years,
said Riggins. We have been able to offset those
increasing costs by increasing efficiency. We have come
to a point now where we cant continue to offset
transportation, fuel and pension costs.
However, Brown feels if KCP&L would
have taken appropriate action a rate increase would not
The rate increase is due to rising
coal cost and transportation costs. If KCP&L would
have invested heavily in energy efficiency and renewables
like other energy companies have, we might not be faced
with these fuel cost related increases, said Brown.
Riggins also stated the rate increase
would go to fund the implementation of certain components
of KCP&Ls new strategic energy plan. A plan
which includes such projects as their new wind farm that
will be operational in October, environmental upgrades
to existing plants, transmission/infrastructure improvements,
and energy efficiency and affordability programs.
In Missouri, KCP&L is seeking a $55.8
million or 11.5% increase in electric revenues and in
Kansas the company is requesting a $42.3 million or 10.5%
increase. The increase would boil down to approximately
$7 per month for a typical Missouri residential customers
bill and about $8 to a typical Kansas residential customers
If their request is approved, KCP&L
is anticipating the new rates to take effect Jan. 1, 2007.