Westar Energy

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Westar Energy
Type Investor Owned Utility
Traded as NYSEWR
Industry Electric utility
Founded 1909
Headquarters Topeka, Kansas
Area served Eastern 1/3 of Kansas
690,000 customers
Key people Mark Ruelle
Products Electricity generation, transmission and distribution,
Website WestarEnergy.com
Westar headquarters in Downtown Topeka

Westar Energy is an investor owned electric utility headquartered in Topeka, Kansas. Westar is the largest electric company in Kansas, serving 690,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers[1] in the eastern third of the state. Westar Energy generates more than 27,000,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year at its 12 power plants. Westar Energy service territory covers 10,130 square miles (26,200 km2) in east and east-central Kansas. Westar Energy owns more than 6,300 miles (10,100 km) of transmission lines and about 28,100 miles of distribution lines.

History[edit]

In 1909, The American Power & Light Company organized Kansas Gas and Electric Company to operate utilities in Wichita, Pittsburg and Frontenac. KG&E grew rapidly. At the end of 1910, it served three communities and 5,525 customers. By 1925, service extended to 50 communities and 48,773 customers. At one time, KG&E also provided natural gas to Hutchinson, Newton, Pittsburg and Wichita.

With financial backing from Illinois Power and Light Corporation, The Kansas Power and Light Company was founded in 1924 in Tecumseh. Transmission lines ran to Topeka and Atchison. The company immediately began acquiring customers and the assets of area electric and natural gas utilities. In 1983, KPL acquired The Gas Service Company and rights to serve its one million natural gas customers in Kansas] Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

In 1992, KPL merged with KG&E to become Western Resources. It served 560,000 electric customers and 1.06 million natural gas customers in three states. In 1996, an agreement gave Tulsa, Oklahoma-based ONEOK, Inc. ownership of Western Resources’ natural gas business. In return, Western Resources received approximately 45 percent ownership in ONEOK. This investment was sold in 2002 and 2003 as part of the company's renewed focus on being a pure electric utility.

In 2002, Western Resources shareholders approved changing the company’s name to Westar Energy.

Company timeline[edit]

  • 1910 – KG&E authorized to begin operation
  • 1922 – Kansas Electric Power Co. is incorporated
  • 1924 – Kansas Power and Light Co. is incorporated. Neosho Plant is built
  • 1935 – United Power and Light merges with KPL
  • 1943 – KPL acquires Kansas Electric Power Company
  • 1955 – KG&E common stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange
  • 1967 – KG&E requests water rights at John Redmond Reservoir for a nuclear plant
  • 1973 – LaCygne Energy Center goes on line
  • 1978 – Jeffrey Energy Center begins commercial operation
  • 1985 – Wolf Creek Nuclear Generating Station begins commercial operation Sept. 3
  • 1992 – KPL and KG&E merger completed. Western Resources introduced
  • 1999 – Westar Wind becomes the first commercially operated wind turbine project in Kansas
  • 2002 – Westar Energy is introduced. The KPL, KGE and Western Resources names are retired.

Generation portfolio[edit]

Latest news[edit]

  • September 2006 – Westar announces plans to build new 345 kV transmission line from Wichita to Hutchinson to Salina
  • October 2006 – Westar Energy partners with Apogee Interactive to provide energy calculators on Website.
  • March 2007 – Westar Energy breaks ground on Emporia Energy Center. A natural gas-fired peaking plant.
  • April 2007 – CEO Jim Haines announces retirement and successor William Moore.
  • August 2007 – Westar announces plans to spend $465 million to upgrade environmental controls and Jeffrey Energy Center.
  • October 2007 – Westar Energy launches Kansas' largest wind energy program.
  • December 2007 – Ice Storm becomes largest in Westar history and estimated costs at $73 – $85 million.
  • August 2009 – Westar applies for smart grid project for smart meters in Lawrence.
  • December 2009 – "Westar" Celebrates 100 years of electric service in Kansas.
  • May 2011 – CEO William Moore announces retirement and successor Mark Ruelle.

Controversies[edit]

In 1999, Westar Energy restated its consolidated financial statements for 1999, 1998 and 1997 and for each of the periods of 2000, related to the Westinghouse Security Systems (WSS)acquisition.[2]

On January 14, 2003, Westar Energy Inc was charged for transactions involved power sales from one Cleco Corporation affiliate to Westar and then back to another or the same Cleco affiliate,[3] and paid 30000000 dollars for settlement.

On Nov 1, 2002, Westar Energy announced to restate results for its first and second quarter, to account for additional impairment at its Protection One Inc.(POI) unit.[4]

On March 25, 2004, Westar Energy said to restate its 2003 annual financial results, after realizing that it might have understated its cash flow from operations for the year.[5]

External links[edit]

Notes