Kansas possesses a built-in advantage over other states when it comes to meeting your energy needs. With one of the largest natural gas fields in the world, Kansas is among the nation’s leading producers of natural gas. Our statewide power costs remain competitive with the national average for every major customer group.
COMPETITIVE AND UNINTERRUPTED ELECTRIC POWER
Kansas’ competitive electricity rates are partially due to our proximity to the low-sulfur coal fields of Wyoming, resulting in low transportation costs. The majority of electric power generated in Kansas comes from such coal.
A modern generation and distribution network also keeps Kansas’ electric rates competitive. Three investor-owned companies produce more than one-half of the electric power for the state; one in Kansas (Westar) and two in Missouri (Kansas City Power & Light and Empire Electric). The remainder is supplied by three in-state member-owned Generation and Transmission (G&T) cooperatives and 65 municipal generating systems. Sixty of the 65 municipal generating systems interconnect with investor-owned systems. A support network of 30 distribution cooperatives and 119 municipalities enhances the electrical system.
This system connects with a multi-state power transmission grid, including most of the electric systems east of the Rocky Mountains. Kansas has not experienced a major power shortage in many years. Should one occur, the reserve power capacity of the three major investor-owned companies alone far exceeds the national generating capacity.
WORLD-CLASS SUPPLIER OF NATURAL GAS
|| All Sectors
| New York
| U.S. Total
| Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly, February 2013
Kansas benefits from one of America’s largest deposits of natural gas, a resource that translates into easy access and excellent prices for natural gas consumers. The Hugoton Gas Field in southwest Kansas covers more than 5,700 square miles, supplies 41 percent of all natural gas produced in the state and contributes to Kansas’ ranking in the top ten of one of the largest natural gas producer states, with approximately 300 billion cubic feet of natural gas produced annually. Kansas natural gas companies and municipal gas systems supply the state. Three major pipelines, operated by Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc., Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company and Northern Natural Gas Company, transport more than 50 percent of that consumption and connect with a wide distribution network. In the areas not served by distributors, direct hook-ups from transmission lines can accommodate most businesses. In addition, municipal distribution lines may be able to use existing taps and transport gas to larger customers at a lower cost.
Kansas Oil and Gas Activity in the Mississippian Lime Play
The Kansas Department of Commerce is examining the potential economic development benefits and challenges of supporting oil and gas activity in the Mississippian Lime Play (MLP) as the economic benefits to Kansas could be significant, resulting in hundreds of wells drilled, billions of dollars in investment, thousands of jobs and industry activity in the MLP for the next 20 to 30 years.
The MLP is a porous limestone formation that encompasses areas of northern Oklahoma, and southern and western Kansas. The region was considered tapped out by vertical drilling decades ago, but a technique known as hydraulic fracturing (also called fracing or fracking) in combination with horizontal drilling has the potential to significantly revive oil and gas activity in the region.
For more information on this new emerging industry in Kansas, please go to: KansasCommerce.com/ksoilandgas
The KCC continues to participate in Southwest Power Pool forums addressing various aspects of new transmission lines to assure reliability, accessing low-cost power markets and selling power to the benefit of Kansas electric customers. The KCC is also closely monitoring and addressing the impact of federally mandated environmental retrofit projects on Kansas’ generation fleet. The KCC continues to address various aspects of energy-efficiency programs of natural gas and electric utilities through tariffs implementing Demand Side Management (DSM) programs. The KCC is also implementing efforts to review utility rate structures to track cost of service in demand and energy charges.
Other options, such as the development of renewable energy, are supported by Kansas leaders interested in maintaining a healthy and competitive energy market. Wind power, especially, is becoming a contender in Kansas energy supply. Located in the heart of the nation’s growing wind industry, Kansas offers an ideal location for wind turbine manufacturing. Our central location and well-developed transportation infrastructure provide convenient and economical access to the region with the greatest wind energy activity. Since the beginning of 2008, wind generating capacity in Kansas has nearly tripled to more than 2,700 megawatts, making Kansas one of the top 10 states in the nation. There is plenty of room to add more, with Kansas ranking second in wind energy potential.
In reaching the 2,000 megawatt milestone, Kansas has almost met the state’s renewable energy standard requiring 15 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2016. A further target of 20 percent by 2020 has been set, and there is strong interest in the state for expanding the use of both large- and small-scale wind energy. By 2030, projections indicate that the state’s power system could provide a possible 7,000 megawatts for export per year from wind energy. In addition to the Kansas Wind Working Group appointed by the Governor to encourage wind development in the state, there are also regional wind energy groups working to support the industry statewide. Kansas offers a generous property tax exemption for property used in the generation of electricity from renewable sources (see Taxes and Incentives section).
Kansas enjoys one of the most sophisticated and reasonably priced telecommunications systems in the nation. Thanks to our central location, businesses have access to east-west and north-south major trunk lines, connecting them to a nationwide fiber optic network. Whether it’s a small business needing voice services and Internet or a large business with maximum data transport requirements, Kansas has the telecommunications infrastructure your company needs to succeed and grow.
Kansans are served by a variety of local exchange carriers, long distance or inter-exchange carriers and wireless carriers. These carriers provide a wide range of telecommunication services from basic dial tone to sophisticated data transport services to nearly ubiquitous wireless or cellular services.
Kansas has 39 incumbent local exchange carriers, including AT&T and CenturyLink (previously Embarq) and 37 independent local exchange carriers. In addition to these incumbent carriers, Kansas currently has over 50 competitive local exchange carriers. These carriers are operating primarily in AT&T and CenturyLink territories and are competing with the incumbents, offering competitive services and competitive rates.
Interconnecting these local networks with the national Public Switched Network are more than 125 long distance carriers. These carriers offer a wide variety of long distance calling plans and sophisticated private line services, of particular interest to small and large business.
The technology used to deliver these services is state-of-the-art digital switching and transport technologies. Digital switching equipment is deployed nearly seamlessly from the large metropolitan areas to the smallest rural entities throughout the state. This technology delivers the popular call management services (i.e. call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting, distinctive ring, etc.) to residential and business customers. In addition, business customers also have access to business oriented services, commonly referred to as centrex features.
Digital transport equipment is also deployed throughout the state, utilizing fiber optics technology to interconnect telephone company switching offices and inter-exchange carriers. In addition, fiber technology is now being deployed to the customer’s premises in many locations throughout the state, thus providing broadband Internet services and in some locations, video service. These two families of technology, digital switching and digital transport combine to provide the customer with a broad menu of high-quality, highly reliable services.
Kansas compares favorably with neighboring states with respect to broadband access to the Internet. Wireless or cellular services are very broadly deployed with multiple carriers available in most areas of the state.