Home Utilities: Gas and Electric Westar Energy Inc Westar Energy Inc – Business Description

Westar Energy Inc – Business Description


Westar is a Kansas-based electric utility and consumer services company. Primary business activities of the company include electricity generation, transmission, and distribution services to approximately 673,000 customers in Kansas.

Westar Energy has only one reportable segment, the Electric Utility. Electric Utility consists of the company’s integrated electric utility operations, including the generation, transmission and distribution of power to its retail customers in Kansas and to wholesale customers, as well as the company’s energy marketing activities.

The Electric Utility supplies electric energy at retail to approximately 364,000 customers in northeast Kansas, including the communities of Topeka, Lawrence, Manhattan, Salina and Hutchinson.Westar Energy’s wholly owned subsidiary, Kansas Gas and Electric Company (KGE), supplies electric energy at retail to approximately 309,000 customers in south-central and southeastern Kansas, including the city of Wichita. KGE owns a 47% interest in the Wolf Creek Generating Station (Wolf Creek), a nuclear power plant located near Burlington, Kansas, and a 47% interest in Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation (WCNOC), the operating company for Wolf Creek.

The company classifies its retail customers as residential, commercial and industrial as defined in its tariffs. It also supplies electric energy at wholesale to the electric distribution systems of 45 Kansas cities and four rural electric cooperatives. Westar Energy has contracts for the sale, purchase or exchange of wholesale electricity with other utilities.

Westar uses natural gas as a primary fuel in its Gordon Evans, Murray Gill, Neosho, Abilene, and Hutchinson Energy Centers and in the gas turbine units at the Tecumseh generating station. Natural gas is also used as a supplemental fuel in the coal fired units at the Lawrence and Tecumseh generating stations. Natural gas for all facilities is purchased in the short term spot market, which supplies the system with a flexible natural gas supply necessary to meet operational needs. For Abilene and Hutchinson Energy Centers, the company maintains interruptible natural gas transportation with Kansas Gas Service.