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Kansas agency to review Evergy, Southwest Power Pool over February blackouts

Crows knocked out power to 100,000 in 3 states
Posted at 3:43 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 16:43:18-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas Corporation Commission said Tuesday it will open seven investigations of company practices associated with the stretch of brutally cold weather last month.

In a news release, the KCC said its review would include Evergy, the Kansas City area’s largest utility provider.

The KCC is reviewing utility company proposals to smooth out the financial costs to customers associated with the cold stretch. Those proposals – first called for on Feb. 15 – instructed utility companies to present a plan to “minimize ratepayer impact” of high prices over a “reasonable timeframe.”

The review also will include investigating the cause of reduced natural gas supplies, natural gas prices and supply and demand imbalances from the Southwest Power Pool.

Ultimately, the investigation aims to prevent the rolling power outages last month that were needed throughout the Midwest to balance supply and demand.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, an Evergy spokesperson said the utility company supports KCC’s review.

"Like other utilities in the region, Evergy faced increased costs and, at the direction of the Southwest Power Pool, interrupted service to customers in order to prevent larger, uncontrolled outages,” the Evergy statement reads. “Evergy supports the KCC’s effort to examine and understand the circumstances, cost drivers and actions taken. We share their goal to examine ways to prevent similar events in the future.”