KANSAS

KANSAS

Kansas is home to 3 million people, and to the windiest city in the United States, Dodge City, where wind speeds average 14 mph. Literally flatter than a pancake (topographers conducted a comparison), Kansas averages 61 tornadoes every year. Over 87% of the state’s 81 thousand square miles is farmland, allowing Kansas to produce enough wheat per year to bake 36 billion loaves of bread.  

Increasing heat and its accompanying droughts pose a dangerous threat to the entire Great Plains region, and Kansas is already seeing these effects of climate change. Having already seen a rise of at least one degree Fahrenheit over the past century, Kansas currently averages about 35 extreme heat days per year which are expected to double by 2050. As the aquifers become depleted, experts have called the long-term sustainability of the Great Plains into question—Kansas farmers could see crop yields decline by nearly 24% by 2050. Additionally, Kansas’s threat from wildfire is expected to quadruple by midcentury 

There is good news, however, as Kansas converts its high winds into energy. By 2019, wind energy accounted for 41% of the state’s energy production giving Kansas the second-highest share of wind power generation after IowaRenewables, by April 2020, were responsible for more than 50% of net electricity generation, with nuclear, coal-fired, and natural gas-fired making up the rest. Natural gas and coal continue to constitute the significant proportions of Kansas’s energy consumption. Consuming more gas and coal than it produces, it draws on considerable reserves of both nonrenewable resources. 

 Industry (34.8%) and Transportation (25.1% are the primary consumers followed by Residential (20.6% and Commercial (19.5%). 

 In 2009, the Kansas Renewable Energy Standards Act set a goal of generating 20% of the state’s energy from renewable resources by the year 2020, which the state has cleanly surpassed. The revenue from wind energy production and economic growth for rural communities has driven continued growth in the industry. This growth has continued even in the absence of legislation incentivizing the renewable industry. Kansas has not developed a statewide climate adaptation plan, either.  

In the meantime, Kansas City has taken the lead, creating a Regional Climate Action Plan (CAP), with an ambitious set of interrelated strategies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. There is also an interim net zero goal focused on local government operations (by 2030), energy generation (by 2035), and homes and buildings (by 2040).

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Johnson County solar farm siting standards will have regional consequences for environment, equity

04/01/22
The onerous restrictions proposed most recently by the Johnson County Planning Commission could amount to a de facto ban on large solar farms. The draft guidelines shorten the duration of the conditional use permit, double…

Climate anxiety? Kansas City urban farmers work toward a solution

03/31/22
Kansas City urban farmers operate Compost Collective KC, which has the goal of keeping food waste out of landfills to ease problems associated with climate change.

New microgrid technology launched by mges in kansas city and around the world: alternatives to russian energy

03/31/22
A leading Kansas City-based new technology company—MGES—is about to launch a new solar microgrid system. Solar microgrids are becoming more relevant than ever.

Meta Picks Kansas City For $800M Hyperscale Data Center

03/29/22
Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has selected the Kansas City region for a new $800 million hyperscale data center. The nearly 1 million-square-foot facility will be located in the Golden Plains Technology Park,…

Kansas City presents Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan to public

03/25/22
"We are striving to be one of, if not the most progressive and aggressive cities in the country when it comes to fighting climate change," KCMO City Manager Brian Platt said.

Fort Riley US Army housing gets 350 additional solar installations

03/04/22
Corvias,the project developer is a solar installer headquartered in East Greenwich, RI. Corvias has been a partner for 20 years to the US Military under the Department of Defense’s Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) program.…

Spirit AeroSystems Converts to Renewable Energy in Kansas

02/16/22
Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. (“Spirit” or “Spirit AeroSystems”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPR), today announced the conversion to 100% wind-generated electricity at the company’s headquarters in Kansas, USA. This major…

Evergy announces plan for large solar farm near coal plant in Kansas City

01/05/22
The electric utility serves 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri. Half of the energy produced at the solar farm will go to serve that entire base. The other half will be reserved for nearly…

Net Zero Kansas City Region by 2050

11/05/21
The Kansas City Regional Climate Action Plan (CAP) aims to transform the metropolitan area into a more resilient, equitable and healthy community. An ambitious set of interrelated strategies will help to mitigate climate change by…

JoCo on the Go: Climate action plan

09/03/21
On JoCo on the Go, episode #103, hear about the Kansas City Regional Climate Action. We’ll talk to Johnson County Department of Health and Environment’s Brian Alferman about the role Johnson County played in the…

KEY RESOURCES

Kansas State Profile and Energy Estimates

09/23/21
Kansas stretches more than 400 miles from east to west and has considerable crude oil, natural gas, and renewable energy resources. The state's broad plains rise gradually from about 600 feet above sea level at…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Kansas

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Kansas experienced two flooding events, seven severe storms, and one drought. The damages of these events led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Kansas top risk

08/17/20
An increase in stagnant summer air is expected to continue across the U.S.

An increase in stagnant summer air is expected to continue across the U.S.

08/14/20
Heat itself is one of the leading weather-related killers, and it’s also a significant contributing factor in creating ground-level ozone, which is a serious health hazard.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Kansas

07/31/20
Kansas is vulnerable to increasing heat, drought, and severe storms which threaten agricultural and economic productivity and human health

The Nature Conservancy in Kansas

05/02/20
The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. For more than 30 years, we’ve worked in Kansas to do just that. We've permanently protected 141,021…

Climate Look

05/02/20
Understanding Long-Term Climate Changes for Kansas city

Health and Climate Change in Kansas (July 2019)

05/02/20
Few issues are as politically charged as climate change. According to many recent surveys, a majority of Americans believe that climate change is occurring, while opinions vary as to whether or not it is caused…

Climate Change 101: A Kansas City Scientist Explains What’s Going On

05/02/20
That's according to Doug Kluck, a regional climate services director for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He also spent 18 years with the National Weather Service as a researcher and forecaster.

The Migration to Renewable Energy: Our Greener Future

05/02/20
The Amazon is burning. Greenland is melting. Little wonder that the United Nations has declared climate change the defining issue of our time. Reducing our carbon footprint has never been so crucial.

Kansas Makes Good Use Of Wind Power, But Other Renewables … Not So Much

05/01/20
Kansas and other Plains states produce the majority of the nation’s wind energy. While that’s mostly because the area has the highest average sustained wind speeds, the leading wind states have put in place regulatory…

Electric Energy Sources

05/01/20
It is created by converting primary sources of energy such as fossil (oil, coal and natural gas), nuclear, wind, solar and hydropower into electricity.

Kansas Renewable Energy Standard (RES)

05/01/20
The Renewable Energy Standards Act (RESA) (K.S.A. 66-1256, 66-1257, and 66-1259) establishes a statewide renewable energy standard for Kansas. The renewable energy standard for Kansas is a voluntary goal that 20% of a utility's peak…

MORE NEWS

USDA to invest over $78K in Kansas renewable energy projects

By Sarah Motter  Photo: Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune   09/10/21  
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the Department will invest $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers and businesses lower energy costs in 48…

Wichita City Council Forms Environmental Concerns Board

09/08/21  
After months of advocacy by activists, the Wichita City council has voted to establish a board to advise the council and city staff on environmental concerns, climate change and economic economic vitality. The council voted…

K-State experts outline climate change effects on Kansas, tips to reduce impact

By AJ Dome  Photo: Lucas Boland   08/28/21  
A Kansas State University distinguished professor and Nobel Prize recipient says “time is running out” for people to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change. Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy, said…

Work to repurpose wind turbine blades spotlights Kansas as green economy leader

By Shawna Bethell  Photo: Re-Wind   08/24/21  
The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Shawna Bethell is a freelance essayist/journalist…

Some Kansas communities are paying more to fix stinky water from blue-green algae. Climate change is to blame.

By Brian Grimmett  Photo: Brian Grimmett/Kansas News Service   08/21/21  
Climate change makes Flynn’s job harder. It’s triggering days of triple-digit temperatures and more times when the breeze takes a holiday. That, in turn, breeds ever bigger blooms of blue-green algae.

Summer Days In Missouri And Kansas Turning Dangerously Hot For Outdoor Workers

By Alex Smith  Photo: Carlos Moreno / KCUR 89.3   08/18/21  
In the next few decades, climate change will cause more than two weeks every summer to become too hot to safely work outside. A new study argues that quick action is needed prevent that number…

Kansas set to lead nation in renewable energy

By Sarah Motter  Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP Photo   08/03/21  
Boost Kansas, an initiative of the American Clean Power Association says in 2020, the renewable energy industry had an exciting year, and Kansas is a leader with success in wind and solar energy developments. It…

Electric vehicle chargers will soon go up on street light poles in Kansas City

By YCC Team  Photo: Joy Ellsworth   06/23/21  
Many people who own an electric vehicle also own a home, so they can install a charger in their garage or driveway. But that’s usually not an option for people who rent. “If you are…

Kansas energy sector: renewable can co-exist with oil industry

By Kimberly James   06/12/21  
Kansas is well-positioned to grow its workforce in the renewable energy sector. More than 4,500 people are employed by clean energy jobs in Wichita, which has the most renewable energy jobs in the state. Kansas…
KIT

Yakima City Council Talks Climate Change Tuesday

By Lance Tormey   05/18/21  
When the Yakima City Council meets on zoom on at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday the council will talk about creating a future resolution in support of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and to committing the City…

Seaboard Energy builds renewable diesel plant in Hugoton, Kansas

By Seaboard Energy   05/17/21  
Seaboard Energy, a division of Seaboard Foods and a wholly owned subsidiary of Seaboard Corp., announced it is building a renewable diesel plant in Hugoton, Kansas. The facility is constructed at the former Abengoa ethanol…

Solar pushback: how US power firms try to make people pay for going green

By Haines Eason  Photo: Tannen Maury   05/13/21  
Kevin Good is the president of a small solar power company in Kansas – a state that tends to be so sunny you’d think he’d have it made. “I got into solar at maybe the…

As the Climate Warms, Could the U.S. Face Another Dust Bowl?

By Nathaniel Scharping  Photo: John Moore / Getty Images   05/13/21  
Growing up in rural Iowa in the 1990s, Isaac Larsen remembers a unique herald of springtime. The snowbanks piled along roads, once white or gray, would turn black. The culprit was windblown dust, stirred from…

Less Pollution, Lower Bills: Kansas, Missouri Move Ahead on Utility Securitization

By Allison Kite  Photo: Jill Hummels | Kansas Reflector   05/05/21  
Utility providers across Kansas and Missouri may soon be able to retire coal-fired power plants faster as the energy sector accelerates its transition to renewable energy sources. Kansas already passed legislation that allows companies to shutter…

Elkhart County receives multi-million dollar proposal for 850-acre solar farm

By Mark Peterson   05/04/21  
Elkhart County is the chosen site for a planned $120-millon solar farm. Kansas City-based renewable energy company Savion would create 150 jobs during construction and provide a $15 million boost to the property tax base…

Fighting climate change: Conservation Reserve Program incentives on the way for Kansas farmers

By Kaisha Batman   05/03/21  
One of the world’s largest voluntary conservation initiatives is now looking to expand — the Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, is a federally-funded project that takes farmland out of production and transitions it to its…

Evergy to shutter Kansas coal plant, speed transition to renewable energy

By Allison Kite   05/01/21  
Evergy, an electric supplier to about 600,000 customers in western Missouri, will retire its coal power plant in Lawrence, Kansas, by the end of 2023, the company announced on Friday. The utility revealed its plan…

Climate Change Has Turned the Kansas Prairie Into Junk Food That’s Killing Grasshoppers

By Brian Grimmett  Photo: USGSBMIL team   04/26/21  
And yet she was still mystified about why the number of grasshoppers in a long-protected and much-studied patch of Kansas prairie was dropping. Steadily. For 25 years. After all, the grass that the springy bugs…

The Kansas Energy Story—and Opportunity

By Gabrielle Habeeb and Ashok Gupta  Photo: Brent Flanders via Flickr   04/22/21  
Kansas may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think “renewable energy powerhouse”—but it has become one. Kansas currently generates over 40 percent of the state’s electricity from wind. The Kansas…

To expand solar and wind energy, Kansas needs a state energy plan, lawmaker says

By Sarah Spicer  Photo by Sarah Spicer   01/19/21  
As Mark Schreiber drove the northeast backroads of Emporia, a place he’s represented in the Kansas House for the past four years, he talked fondly of his time working for Westar Energy and the many…

Wind farms nearing completion in Southwest Missouri, Southeast Kansas

By John Hacker  Photo by Laurie Sisk   01/17/21  
People traveling north at night on the Missouri Highway 249 might notice a row of dozens of red lights blinking in unison on the far north horizon as they approach the Webb City and Carterville…

Proposals to prohibit natural gas bans may threaten cities’ clean energy goals

By Karen Uhlenhuth   01/15/21  
Kansas and Missouri may become the next states to block cities from banning natural gas, with hearings on legislation in both states expected soon.

Flipping the switch

By Thomas Friestad   01/15/21  
As the costs for renewable energy fall and its priority for businesses rises, KC companies are joining the surge in development

Governor Laura Kelly Announces Kansas Receives National Recognition for Wind Energy Production, Capacity

By David Elliott   01/13/21  
Governor Laura Kelly has announced that the state of Kansas has once again been recognized as a national leader in wind energy, with Business Facilities Magazine noting lofty rankings for Kansas when compared to all other states, and…

Kansas wind farm expansion brings more renewable energy to KC

By James Dornbrook   12/21/20  
Enel Green Power North America began operating a 199-megawatt expansion of the Cimarron Bend wind farm in Clark County, Kan., bringing power generation for the entire project up to 599 megawatts and making it the…

Study analyzes economic impact of renewable energy in U.S.

By Sarah Motter   12/17/20  
A new study is detailing the full impact of having 50% renewable energy generation in the United States. The American Clean Power Association says it and Wood Mackenzie have released a new study that details…

Boost Kansas to hold discussion on local impact of renewable energy projects

By Sarah Motter   12/01/20  
Boost Kansas says on Thursday, Dec. 3, it will host a virtual panel discussion that focuses on the benefits of local communities by the development and operation of renewable energy projects. It said the virtual…

KC-based Savion lands power purchase agreement for $133M solar project

By James Dornbrook   12/01/20  
Kansas City-based Savion LLC received a power purchase agreement with Dominion Energy Virginia for 75 megawatts of power from its $133 million Wythe County Solar Project LLC in Southwest, Va.

A Catalyst for the Midwest’s Clean Energy Transition

By Brian Palmer   12/01/20  
When you discuss clean energy with senior energy economist Ashok Gupta, everything seems so obvious. Make it cheap; use it smartly. What’s all the fuss about?

Twelve Kansas Electric Cooperatives partner on Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program

By SB Staff   12/01/20  
Using the sixth cooperative principle of cooperation among cooperatives, 12 cooperatives in Kansas are joining together to make a small investment for at least the next 25 years in the harvesting of solar energy. Participating…

New wind farm helps KU offset electricity needs with renewable energy

By Haines Eason   11/27/20  
A new wind farm that came online in northern Kansas this month is helping the University of Kansas meet its sustainability goal of offsetting carbon emissions with energy from renewable sources.  

The U.S. Fight Against Climate Change Has to Start at Its Center: The Midwest

By Wyatt Scott  Photo by JJ Gouin   11/26/20  
Dan Hughes grows corn, wheat, pinto beans, millet, and yellow peas on his family farm near Venango, a tiny town on the far western edge of Nebraska. “Since I can remember,” said Hughes, a serious,…

Here’s what Biden’s climate plan could mean for Kansas

By Sarah Spicer   11/24/20  
President-elect Joe Biden released his climate change plan earlier this year calling for action to be taken in departments across the federal government to increase efforts to mitigate climate change, including taking actions to shift…

Kansas Electric Co-Ops team up for solar power rate stability

By Sarah Motter   11/22/20  
12 Kansas Electric Cooperatives are partnering to develop Sun Farms across 800 miles in the state. Today’s Power says using the sixth cooperative principle of cooperation, 12 co-ops are joining together to make a small…

Editor’s Briefing: KC is solidly plugged into the green energy revolution

By Brian Kaberline   11/22/20  
The area has made news involving clean energy generation now and in the future, and even in manufacturing electric vehicles — and all in just the past few weeks.

Today’s Power to build 20 solar arrays in southeastern Kansas

By Jeff Della Rosa   11/17/20  
North Little Rock-based renewable energy company Today’s Power Inc. (TPI) announced Tuesday (Nov. 17) it will build 20 solar arrays in southeastern Kansas.

Kansas electric cooperatives partner to procure more than 20 MW of solar projects

By Kelsey Misbrener   11/17/20  
Using the sixth cooperative principle of cooperation among cooperatives, twelve cooperatives in Kansas are joining together to make a small solar investment for the next 25 years or more. Participating electric cooperatives will be able…

‘It just doesn’t make sense’: Evergy proposes rate hike for Kansas solar users, frustrating customers

By Zac Summers   11/05/20  
Kansans with solar panels on their homes disapprove of a proposed rate hike by Evergy. Mike Pierce had solar panels installed on the roof of his Olathe home in January. It’s something he had considered…

Former Tennessee governor eyes Kansas for solar development

By Sarah Spicer   10/18/20  
A former governor of Tennessee sees Kansas as a prime investment in solar power because of the state’s high sun potential and current dependence on fossil fuels. Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen founded Clearloop, a…

KC Ranks 25th Among 100 Cities on Clean Energy Scorecard

By Cody Boston   10/14/20  
When it comes to the global fight against a looming climate crisis, cities have a lot of weight to pull. Due to the autonomy municipal governments have over their own energy policies, as well as…

Kansas is a state full of sun, so why does Kansas lag behind in solar power?

By Sarah Spicer   10/06/20  
Kansas is one of the 10 sunniest states and has comparable solar power potential to Florida, averaging more than 200 sunny days a year. Yet, Kansas ranks 43rd in solar generation this year, with only…

Law Review Symposium to explore future of renewable energy

By Ashley Golledge   10/06/20  
Renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, has become an essential resource. Current legal frameworks have supported significant wind and solar energy, but are they sufficient to accelerate clean energy in the next decade?…

Gov. Laura Kelly announces nearly 1,000 permanent jobs, $8 billion of total investment to Kansas

Photo by Ben Rumbaugh.   10/01/20  
Gov. Laura Kelly joined Kansas Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary for Business Development Bill Murphy and Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Invenergy Kris Zadlo on Sept. 30 to announce Invenergy’s new Grain Belt…

New Electric Transmission Line Will Create 1,000 Jobs In Kansas

10/01/20  
Inevergy Transmission will create nearly 1,000 new permanent jobs in Kansas with its new Grain Belt Express transmission line. Grain Belt Express is an approximately 800-mile high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line. It will…

Kansas home to new clean energy project

By Sarah Motter  Photo by John Hanna   09/30/20  
Kansas is now the home to a new clean energy project which will originate in Spearville. Governor Laura Kelly says Kansas is now home to a new clean energy project from global developer Invenergy. She…

USDA invests more than $354,000 in energy efficiency

09/27/20  
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Kansas Lynne Hinrichsen has announced that USDA is investing $558,552 to make energy efficiency improvements and reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based…

More electric car-charging stations coming

By Jennifer Stultz   09/26/20  
In conjunction with National Clean Energy Week, Evergy announced Tuesday that it is partnering with Midwestern utilities to develop a multi-state electric vehicle charging network by 2022.

Trump Administration invests in Rural Kansas energy efficiency improvements

By Sarah Motter  Photo by AP   09/24/20  
The Trump Administration has invested over $354,000 in energy efficiency improvements in Rural Kansas, helping 17 small businesses and agricultural producers lower their energy costs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says its Rural Development State…

USDA invests $471,000 in renewable energy in Kansas

By Sarah Motter   09/23/20  
The USDA is investing over $471,000 in renewable energy in rural Kansas to help small businesses and agricultural producers lower energy costs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Kansas Lynne Hinrichsen…

Solar-storage project would be ‘game-changer’ for Kansas City region

By Karen Uhlenhuth   09/10/20  
The world’s largest renewable energy developer is acquiring property in Kansas for a mega-project that would combine hundreds of megawatts of solar and storage capacity. A spokesperson for NextEra Energy confirmed the company is seeking…