Evergy’s Energy Plan Will Harm Missourians by Delaying Coal Retirement and the Necessary Buildout of Renewable Energy


Lee Ziesche, lee.ziesche@sierraclub.org

Kansas City, MO - Despite much of the Midwest experiencing the warmest winter on record, Evergy is still dragging its feet on retiring expensive, coal-burning power plants and building out enough renewable energy. That’s what Evergy, the second largest electric utility in Missouri, announced when it filed its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) with state regulators yesterday.

IRP updates are filed annually, and last year Evergy slashed its previous renewable energy goals and doubled down on fossil fuels, pushing back retirement dates for polluting coal plants including the Hawthorn plant, one of the last coal plants to operate in a major metropolitan city.  

“We can't take Evergy's climate goals seriously when the utility slashed its renewable energy investments nearly in half while it plans to add more fossil fuels to the grid than what it is removing by the end of the decade,” said Billy Davies, Senior Field Organizer for the Sierra Club, Missouri Chapter. “Evergy plans to run Hawthorn located in Kansas City, despite its proximity to a large community of Black and Latino people that have called for its immediate closure, for another three decades and expects these same Missourians to pay for it.” 

In addition to delaying coal retirement, Evergy plans to add 1,533MW of new fracked 'natural' gas generation, putting into question the monopoly utility’s ability to reach its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 70% by 2030, especially since the company is proposing to reduce the amount of clean energy it will invest in between now and then.    

Evergy is also the largest utility in Kansas and is expected to file its IRP with state regulators in May. Based on its energy plans and operations in both states, Evergy received a 9 out of 100 in Sierra Club’s latest Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges report that was released last October. The report looks at future energy plans to move from fossil fuels to clean energy, and Evergy’s score backslid from 18 (2022) to 9 (2023) due to its pivot away from the large clean energy investments it previously announced coupled with its plan to burn coal longer and build new fracked ‘natural’ gas power plants.

“Evergy better come to the table in Kansas with a climate-focused plan for its customers,” said Ty Gorman, Senior Kansas Field Organizer for Sierra Club. “Kansas has so much potential to develop affordable and reliable renewable energy, but Evergy keeps attempting to take us in the wrong direction and force us to pay for its old, expensive coal-burning power plants and new fracked ‘natural’ gas plants, which will cost customers $100 of millions more than clean energy solutions. Gas plants will be stranded assets soon, putting debt on customers’ backs, and they have seen catastrophic failure and extreme price volatility during cold weather when electricity is needed the most.”    


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.