Regulated electric utility Evergy plans to add 700 MW of utility-scale solar in Kansas and Missouri by 2024 as part of its integrated resource plan (IRP). The plan calls for retiring 484 MW of coal-fired generating capacity in late 2023.

As of end-2020, solar, landfill, and hydroelectric sources together made up less than 1 per cent of the utility’s generating mix. Coal accounted for 37 per cent and wind for around 25% per cent of the mix. According to the IRP, solar is estimated to make up 13 per cent of the utility’s resource mix by 2030 and 17 per cent by 2040.

Through 2030, the utility said it plans to add 3,200 MW of renewable generation, including both solar and wind. It said this is an increase of 2,700 MW over its 2020 IRP update.

Evergy has stated that it will use a competitive contracting process to select projects for the planned 350 MW of solar capacity to be added in 2023 and 2024. Meanwhile, it plans to retire the remaining coal-fired units at its Lawrence Energy Center, units 4 and 5 (representing 484 MW of capacity), in late 2023. Lawrence it the oldest remaining coal plant in the utility’s portfolio, with Unit 4 built in 1960 and Unit 5 in 1971. Evergy said its move toward more sustainable energy sources advances the goal to reduce carbon emissions 70% by 2030 (relative to 2005 levels) and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2045. Achieving those goals will depend on technology, regulatory, and legislative enablers, it said.

The utility identified additional coal-fired capacity that is slated for retirement by 2040:

  • Lake Road unit 4/6 in late 2024 (97 MW)
  • Jeffrey unit 3 in 2030 (669 MW)
  • La Cygne unit 1 in 2032 (746 MW)
  • La Cygne unit 2 (662 MW), Jeffrey units 1 and 2 (1,335 MW), and Iatan unit 1 (616 MW) in 2039.