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Utility Looks to Add up to 500 MW of Energy from Renewable Resources

Westar Energy today announced that it is seeking bids to develop up to 500 megawatts of electricity from renewable resources.

"Westar Energy, like many utilities, is entering a time when new generation is needed," said Jim Haines, Westar Energy chief executive officer. "When looking at the options we have to invest in providing electricity for Kansas' growing needs, it is important that we evaluate renewable resources in addition to traditional-fueled generation."

In the request for renewable projects, Westar said it would like a portion of the generation to be online by the end of 2008 and the remainder to be online by the end of 2010.

The proposal invites firms to submit proposals wherein Westar Energy would own the facility after development and construction. Additionally bidders may provide other options to Westar including entering into an agreement to purchase electricity produced at the facility or other options bidders believe would be attractive to Westar and its customers.

Westar requires that wind power proposals adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Kansas Energy Council. The state guidelines discuss consideration that should be given to residents and natural resources in and near potential wind power sites and other concerns.

Proposals will be due April 2, at which time Westar Energy will begin reviewing the submissions.

A complete copy of the request for proposals is available at the utility's Web site,

In 2004 Westar Energy solicited bids for renewable energy projects. The company received 17 proposals from 13 companies. Most of the proposed projects were wind farms. Based on the proposals submitted and the technology available at the time, the company determined that customers were better served by the company continuing to use its existing generation facilities.

"The technology behind renewable energy is developing rapidly," said Doug Sterbenz, executive vice president generation and marketing. "We are hopeful that investment in generation fueled by renewable resources will prove beneficial to Westar Energy and our customers."

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