With the additional infrastructure required to meet the new Panasonic battery plant’s anticipated demand for electricity in Johnson County, Evergy plans to request a rate increase in Kansas next year. That’s on top of an already-pending rate hike request from the utility to state regulators.
The Kansas City Star reports that Evergy has filed documents with the Kansas Corporation Commission that show how the demand created by the nearly 4-million-square-foot plant that will be located in DeSoto will double that of Evergy’s current largest customer in the state. The new production facility will also require two new substations, upgrades to three current substations and work on 31 miles of transmission lines.
Even with nearly $8 billion in federal, state and local incentives and a probable discounted electric rate from Evergy, Kansans may be asked to pay higher electricity rates to help cover the increased usage by Panasonic.
Evergy, already announced in April it would ask the KCC to approve raising rates by 5.9% in some areas in Kansas and up to 24.9% in a region that includes Topeka, Lawrence, Manhattan and western parts of Johnson County. The commission is expected to make a decision by late December and public hearings are ongoing.
The proposed rate hike based on the Panasonic plant’s electricity needs would be on top of the current proposed increase.
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