Great Plains Energy is sweeping the fruited plains with electric power. The holding company serves about 823,200 electricity customers in almost 50 counties in Missouri and eastern Kansas through regulated utility Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company (which serves customers in Missouri through Missouri Public Service and St. Joseph Light & Power). The utility company has more than 6,600 MW of primarily coal-fired generating capacity. Great Plains Energy has exited most of its deregulated businesses in order to focus on its utility operations.
The company is seeking to expand its generating capacity to meet grwoing demand while meeting green energy regulations through retrofitting its older coal-fired plants and expanding renewable energy and conservation initiatives.
In 2010 Great Plains Energy completed Iatan 2, an 850-MW coal-fired generating plant 40 miles northwest of Kansas City. That year it also launched a five-year, $48 million Smart Grid demonstration project in Kansas City's core urban area. The project, half funded by the Department of Energy, is aimed at both providing clients with cleaner energy options and giving consumers more control over their energy use. Project features and options include rooftop solar applications, consumer devices for monitoring and managing energy use, and automated meter devices that send real-time usage information and pricing signals.
Despite the global recession and its impact on weakening demand for power, the company posted increased revenues and operating income growth in 2009 due largely to increased rates.
In 2010 Great Plains Energy reported a jump in revenues and net income with increased demand seen across all its customer segments, reflecting a recovering economy. The revenue and income picture was also enhanced by higher rates (which boosted operating margins) and favorable weather (which spiked demand).
Great Plains Energy, formerly named Kansas City Power & Light, changed its name in 2001 to create a holding company for its regulated and nonregulated businesses. – less