November 06, 2015
Contacts:   Tim Maier, BPU General Manager, 620-245-2532
Mark Wurm, BPU Assistant General Manager, 620-245-2533

The City of McPherson, Board of Public Utilities Seeks Proposals for up to 20 Megawatts of Renewable Energy

 McPherson, Ks – McPherson BPU’s management announced today that they have released a request for proposals (RFP) from renewable energy providers for any amount and type of renewable energy up to 20mw to add to their energy portfolio. Proposals are due to McPherson BPU by December 15, 2015. Proposals will then be evaluated to determine if renewables will be added to their current portfolio.

BPU said a main driver in the decision to look into adding these renewables is that they understand that customers are paying closer attention to their ecological footprint. “We know that a stronger emphasis has been placed on performance metrics measuring energy efficiency and sustainability practices for many of our large industrial customers. They are expected not only to meet environmental standards, but to exceed them. The McPherson BPU wants to support customer renewability, sustainability, and efficiency efforts and to be considered more of a partner in our customer’s green initiatives”, says BPU Key Account Manager, Kasi Morales.

Another driver in the decision to consider adding renewables is the The Clean Power Plan’s requirement to reduce CO2 emissions. “Right now about 85% of BPU’s purchased energy comes from coal which is a high CO2 emitting resource. Westar has been very proactive in reducing SO2 and NOx emission levels from their coal fired power plants, but currently there is no commercially viable method to remove CO2. Between 2005 and 2012 SO2 emissions were reduced 85% and NOx levels were reduced 66%”, stated Tim Maier, BPU General Manager.

BPU stated that while they are motivated to entertain proposals they do not want to compromise their competitive and stable rate structure. BPU provides one of the lowest cost electric power in the Nation. Electric intensive industrial customers have prospered in McPherson with the industrial average rate being only 5.1 cents per kWh in 2015. In addition to the competitive rates, BPU’s customers enjoy BPU’s virtually unlimited capacity and unbeatable reliability through their fully redundant electric system. BPU’s stable and competitive rates are credited to an interconnect agreement with Westar Energy.

Much of McPherson’s economic development success and appeal to electric intensive customers is attributed to the municipally owned Board of Public Utilities. Several large industrial companies in the McPherson area include Pfizer (manufacturer of pharmaceutical drugs), CHS Oil Refinery (gasoline and oil products), Viega (plastic and metal), Johns-Manville (fiberglass insulation) and many others.

“Right now prices for renewables are competitive especially when the production tax credits that are currently available are figured in. BPU is looking at renewable options either offsite or even onsite, if cost is favorable”, stated BPU Assistant GM, Mark Wurm.