After three years, Evergy has reneged on its promises to move from coal and gas to clean energy, according to the Sierra Club’s updated report on The Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges. Evergy’s grade plummeted from D (18 out of 100) to F (9 out of 100) because of its plan to add fossil fuels and reduce clean energy investments before the end of the decade.
The scores were based on utility plans in three areas: 1) commitments to retire coal by 2030, 2) plans to build gas through 2030, and 3) plans to build or purchase clean energy by 2030. The score is on a scale of 0 to 100, with a utility earning points by committing to retire coal and adding clean energy and losing points by adding new gas. The inaugural Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges report was released in January 2021.
Of the 55 parent companies evaluated in the report, Evergy ranks as the 6th most coal-dependent utility in the country by 2030. The latest score is based on Evergy's plans to build more than one gigawatt of new gas-burning power plants before the end of 2030 while reducing its investment in wind and solar by the end of the decade. Evergy’s score remains low because it plans on burning a massive amount of coal at its Iatan II power plant into the 2040s.
Statement from Ty Gorman, Kansas Field Organizer for Sierra Club:
“Evergy’s CEO, David Campbell, doesn't have to look any further than the Public Service Company of Oklahoma, which received an A+ on our scorecard the last two years. The Oklahoma utility is showing that it’s possible to retire coal plants before 2030, expand renewable energy investments without major new gas infrastructure, and save customers money using the Inflation Reduction Act. Knowing a clean energy transition is possible and that it’s happening in Oklahoma makes it even more frustrating that Evergy is prolonging the life of its Lawrence coal plant, deferring investments in renewable energy, and prioritizing investments in a new gas-burning power plant. It’s technically and financially achievable for Evergy to be powered by clean energy; it’s up to David Campbell to make it happen.”