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Westar Energy expands wind portfolio through green bond

Green bonds are an emerging investment tool that tie the proceeds of a bond issue to an environmentally-friendly project.

In June 2016, Westar issued $350 million of green bonds. The inaugural green bond issuance demonstrates Westar Energy's commitment to further developing a full portfolio of renewable energy resources. The green bond funds will be used for investments in certain renewable energy generation projects (“Eligible Green Projects”), primarily for the construction of the Western Plains Wind Farm. With the completion of this project, Westar's renewable energy total will be more than 1,700 MW. This is the equivalent to roughly a third of the energy used by the homes and businesses in our service territory.

Western Plains Wind Farm Timeline

Western Plains Wind Farm construction

Expected in service: late 2016
Anticipated cost: $435 million
Location: Ford County, Kansas
Capacity: 280 MW
Generation resource: Wind Turbines

Milestone Completion date
Project kick-off 1/6/2016
Civil construction begins 4/18/2016
First turbine delivered to site 6/13/2016
Mechanical construction begins 7/18/2016
Commercial operation date - projected 12/31/2016

Why is the Western Plains Wind Farm important?

Environmental Impact
  • Carbon dioxide reduction: 1,247,239 tons/year*
  • 280 MWs of wind energy – enough to power the equivalent of 107,000 average U.S. homes for one year**
  • Sulfur dioxide reduction: 366 tons/year*
  • Nitrous oxide reduction: 618 tons/year*

*Projected emissions avoided based upon Westar's fossil fuel generation fleet
**Per U.S. Energy Information Administration annual average residential electricity consumption.

Economic development
  • Expected $435 million capital investment
  • Land lease royalties paid to local land owners and payments to local and state governments expected to total $75 million during first 20 years of operation
  • Project is expected to create more than 200 construction jobs
  • Projected to create 36 permanent jobs
  • Some turbine components assembled at Siemens’ Hutchinson, Kansas facility

Management Assertion and Independent Accountants' Attestation Report
CUSIP #95709TAN0

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