US-based investor-owned utility Evergy has announced plans to add 660MW of wind energy to its portfolio and reduce carbon emissions by 80% below 2005 levels by 2050.

The new wind energy projects will extend direct access to renewable energy for Evergy customers.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said: “Without question, we are uniquely positioned to be a regional and national leader in the development and expansion of renewable energy.

“Renewable energy is about far more than a cleaner future. It is about jobs. It is about adapting to the economy. It is about innovation and business growth. We need an energy market that is affordable, efficient and meets the needs of our businesses and communities.”

With the addition of 660MW to its portfolio, Evergy is expected to become one of the top five wind energy companies in the US to serve 4,535MW of clean energy to customers.

Through its Direct Renewables Programme, Evergy will be offering clean energy generated by its wind facilities to Kansas-based companies and help them to become more sustainable while reducing their overall energy expenditure.

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The clean energy will be supplied from four new wind projects, including the 199MW Expedition wind project being developed by National Renewable Solutions in Marion County, Florida, and Flat Ridge 3, an additional 128MW wind generation project being developed by AEP Renewables near Kingman, Arizona.

The other two wind projects are Jayhawk Wind, a 193MW wind project being developed by Apex Clean Energy, and Ponderosa Wind. Evergy will purchase 178MW of wind energy from Ponderosa Wind’s site being developed by NextEra Resources’ subsidiary in the south of Liberal, Kansas, Oklahoma.

The wind projects are expected to generate $180m in revenue through construction and green energy jobs.

Evergy president and CEO Terry Bassham said: “With the abundant wind energy in Kansas, Evergy is a natural partner for businesses that want to use affordable renewable energy. Our innovative wind energy programmes attract businesses and boost the local economy.

“Our ongoing transformation to cleaner energy sources reduces carbon emissions and provides our customers with sustainable, affordable, reliable electricity.”

As part of a carbon reduction plan, Evergy announced that it will be retiring all of its coal power plants at the end of their life cycle and continue to invest in renewable energy projects.

The utility company said that it will continue to operate its Wolf Creek Nuclear Station until its license expires in 2045 and will also add a small amount of natural gas generation capacity in the absence of carbon-free generation within the plant’s life cycle.