100% Wind Electricity
The University of Kansas has signed an agreement to purchase roughly 100% of its electricity from Westar Energy.
A 20-year agreement with Westar Energy will provide the KU Lawrence campus with 31 Megawatts (MW) of energy from a 300 MW wind farm to be constructed in Nemaha County. The Soldier Creek Wind Farm is expected to be online at the end of 2020.
The Direct Renewable Participation Service (DRPS) tariff, passed by the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) in July 2018, enables large commercial and industrial customers to contract with Westar Energy on wind energy supply at a cheaper rate than the utilities’ current offerings.
The agreement has the potential to save KU as much as half a million dollars the first year. The DRPS tariff will lower the university’s fuel factor cost from 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) to 1.8 cents per kWh.
Being able to avoid the volatility of fuel prices and lock in at a lower fuel price helps KU save money now, meet campus sustainability goals, and have electricity from wind for 20 years.
The 31 MW of purchased wind will supply electricity to the Lawrence Main, Central, and West campuses.
As part of the commitment to reduce its energy impacts, the KU Lawrence campus is also working to reduce its consumption through energy conservation and is developing a new comprehensive energy plan focused on providing energy efficient, responsible, cost effective operations. Previous energy conservation efforts have saved $800,000 each year, and a new plan will provide goals and strategies for prioritizing and investing in energy conservation efforts.