energy

The public submitted more than 100 comments to Kansas regulators about the proposed merger of Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy. Almost all of them were negative.

Brian Grimmett / KMUW

Early on the morning of March 16, wind provided 60 percent of the region’s electric needs. That number set a record, breaking an earlier one set only a week and a half earlier.

Wind power also recently set records for highest peak generation at 15,690 MW and continuously sustained generation of more than 13,000 MW for three days.

Brian Grimmett / KMUW

A decade ago, Kansans felt an earthquake once every few years. Now ground tremors come regularly. One of the hardest hit areas is Harper County in the south central part of the state.

It’s no coincidence, scientists and state regulators agree, that Harper and Sumner counties are also where massive amounts of wastewater has been pumped below ground by outfits drilling for oil and natural gas.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

A resolution pending in the Kansas Legislature would urge, but not require, state regulators to make electric rates more competitive.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Executives pushing the merger of the two largest utility companies in Kansas have told regulators they’ll give in on some customer bill protection and job guarantees.

But the leaders at Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy say promising a five-year moratorium on rate hikes could leave the new, larger company unable to keep step in a fast-changing industry.

Kansas Geological Survey

Zack Pistora, legislative director of the Kansas Sierra Club, was worried about the number of earthquakes in the state and wanted to do something about it.

“Those earthquakes can cause damage to people’s homes, businesses, public buildings,” he said. “Right now there’s no recourse for those Kansans who get affected.”

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

A Maize High School teacher is working on a plan to use solar energy to help power the school.

Physics teacher Stan Bergkamp received approval from the USD 266 Board of Education to raise money for a rooftop array of 740 solar panels — a 240 kW system.

He says as soon as the system is up and running, the savings will be immediate. The panels are expected to save about $3,000 a month, or $36,000 a year, in electricity costs. The district currently pays about $30,000 a month for electricity at Maize High School.

Brian Grimmett/KMUW

Overnight temperatures have begun to dip near or below freezing. That can mean increased utility bills, and for many low-income families, increased financial pressure as they try to pay them.

Kansas Geological Survey

The governments of Douglas County and Lawrence are calling for changes to Kansas regulations amid an energy company’s proposal to pump wastewater into wells in rural Eudora.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The fight over an oil-related waste disposal well in Kansas’ Flint Hills has broadened into a campaign to protest similar wells across several counties and lobby lawmakers for regulatory changes.

Last month residents of Chase, Morris and other counties known for their rolling topography, open pastures and tallgrass ecology lost their effort to block operation of a saltwater injection well near Strong City and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

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