Energy & Environment

Flickr: Ian Muttoo

It’s not exactly unusual for customers to complain about their electricity bills. But repeated rate hikes over the past decade have made Westar Energy’s customers particularly mad. And last year’s merger with Kansas City Power and Light only served to keep the company’s finances — and its profit margin — in public view.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service/File photo

Sedgwick County commissioners approved a temporary ban this week on the development of commercial wind farms and solar energy systems in the county.

Quasimime / flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Corporation Commission has approved a rate increase that will cost Kansas Gas customers an average of $2.40 per month.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Companies have complained for years that electricity rates run higher in Kansas than in surrounding states.

That gives manufacturers and retailers in other states an edge, they say, and discourages businesses from moving to Kansas.

Now the Legislature wants to know what’s causing such a disparity.

Coal Power Plant - Lawrence Energy Center
Brian Grimmett

Wind is beginning to challenge coal’s status as the primary energy source for electricity produced in Kansas.

Wichita State University

Researchers at Wichita State University have found a better way to protect wind turbines from costly lightning strikes.

When lightning strikes the blade of a wind turbine it can blow the tip right off. That means costly repairs and unexpected downtime for the wind turbine.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

One morning after the next, semi-trailer trucks get off Interstate 70 near Colby in west-central Kansas.

They haul parts of giant wind turbines in 150-foot-long sections, the pieces to the Solomon Forks wind farm and the next monumental phase of the Kansas bet on wind energy. The farm will plant 105 turbines in the prairie, each towering 250 feet high.

The project is one of a wave of wind farms under construction in Kansas that will add 20 percent more electrical generation to the state’s output.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

A panel of state officials is working this week on recommendations for funding the Kansas highway system, and they could propose additional fees for hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

Tim Evanson, flickr Creative Commons

New research out of Stanford University shows that limiting wastewater injection is helping to prevent man-made earthquakes in Kansas and Oklahoma.

The researchers have created a new physics-based model that can better predict where man-made earthquakes will occur by looking at increases in pressure. The model shows that the number of earthquakes is driven by how much wastewater is being injected into the ground.

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