JEFFERSON CITY, MO – (AP) – Utility regulators have approved the merger of the two largest electric companies operating in Missouri.
Facing a consolidation trend energy industries are seeking large scale economies. Separately, Great Plains and Westar were two out of fewer than a dozen utilities remaining in the U.S. with market capitalizations of less than $10 billion. The Missouri Public Service Commission, and Kansas Corporation Commission’s decisions Thursday mean Topeka-based Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy of Kansas City, Missouri, will become subsidiaries of a new company called Evergy. Great Plains is the parent of Kansas City Power & Light. Both companies’ shareholders gave approval in November.
Westar said in a statement that the new company will have an equity value of about $15 billion and 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri. Westar will give customers $23 million in credits on their bills, while KCP&L will issue $7.5 million in credits.
Evergy intends to meet nearly half of energy needs with zero-emission sources, with nearly one-third coming from renewable energy. That would make Evergy one of the largest wind energy providers in the nation. In addition, the company is developing more renewable energy programs.