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US investor-owned utility Evergy has announced its commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% from 2005 levels by 2050.

In addition, the utility plans to expand its wind energy portfolio by 660MW by setting live four new wind energy projects.

The $180 million four wind energy plants will increase the utility’s wind capacity to 4,535MW as well as expand its Direct Renewables Programme. This will create one of the largest wind fleets in the US.

By the end of 2020, Evergy will have reached an estimated 40% reduction in emissions.

Measures which the utility will implement to reduce emissions include:

  • Retiring all coal power plants between 2040-2050
  • Make significant investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency;
  • Operate the Wolf Creek Nuclear Station until its license expires in 2045
  • Adding a small amount of natural gas generation, if additional carbon-free generation is not available within the plan’s timeframe.

Terry Bassham, the CEO of Evergy, said: Reducing carbon emissions and increasing the amount of wind energy on our system benefits our customers by reducing operating costs and by making our operations more environmentally sustainable.

“This represents a significant investment in the state of Kansas, helping to create clean energy jobs, and bring additional income for rural communities and school districts. It will also make Kansas more competitive for future economic development and job creation.

“Without question, we are uniquely positioned to be a regional and national leader in the development and expansion of renewable energy,” Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said. “Renewable energy is about far more than a cleaner future – it’s about jobs. It’s about adapting to the economy. It’s about innovation and business growth. We need an energy market that is affordable, efficient and meets the needs of our businesses and communities. I’m pleased to see Evergy commit to more renewable energy and wind production. My administration will continue to work together with stakeholders, consumers, businesses and industries alike. Because at the end of the day, we all will benefit from forward-thinking energy initiatives.”