Energy Division

A Division of the Kansas Corporation Commission, funded through the federal State Energy Program (SEP).

Kansas Renewable Energy Standard (RES)

Kansas adopted the Renewable Energy Standards Act (K.S.A. 66-1256) in 2009, establishing a statewide renewable energy standard. This statute requires the state's investor-owned and cooperative utilities to generate or purchase 10% of their electricity from eligible renewable resources in the years 2011-2015, and ramp up to 15% in the years 2016-2019 and 20% by 2020.

The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) established rules and regulations to administer the portfolio standard on October 27, 2010 (see K.A.R. 82-16). Each MW of eligible capacity installed in Kansas after January 1, 2000, will count as 1.1 MW for the purpose of compliance. Eligible renewable resources include:

  • wind,
  • solar thermal,
  • photovoltaic (PV),
  • dedicated crops grown for energy production,
  • cellulosic agricultural residues, plant residues,
  • methane from landfills or wastewater treatment,
  • clean and untreated wood products such as pallets,
  • existing hydropower,
  • new hydropower that has a nameplate rating of 10 megawatts (MW) or less,
  • fuel cells using hydrogen produced by an eligible renewable resource, and
  • other sources of energy that become available in the future and are certified as renewable by the KCC.

Kansas' standard differs from other state's renewable portfolio standards in that it is based on gross generation capacity rather than total retail sales. In general, the gross generation capacity is the amount owned or leased by a utility minus the auxiliary power used to operate the facility. The auxiliary power is determined by performing a test of each facility. If it is not practical to perform the test on any particular facility, the nameplate net capacity of the facility will be used.

Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) can be used to comply with the Renewable Energy Standard by using the formulas in K.A.R. 82-16. Utilities can use RECs to meet only a portion of their requirement for compliance years 2011, 2016, and 2020.

Utilities may purchase or sell RECs without KCC approval, but each REC can only be counted once. Any unused RECs remain valid for up to 2 years from the date of generation. After 2 years, the REC is permanently retired. In order to prevent double counting or misuse, each REC sold or purchased by any Kansas utility must be reported into the North American Renewables Registry (NAR), which tracks the creation, sale, and retirement of every REC.

Utilities may also purchase capacity from other renewable energy producers in order to comply with the RPS. If a utility enters into a purchasing contract of 10 years or more, the amount of capacity counted towards compliance will be the nameplate capacity minus the auxiliary power required to produce the capacity. If the purchase contract is less than 10 years, then the capacity from the purchased power will be calculated using the same formulas used to calculate REC capacity.

K.A.R. 82-16 established reporting and penalty rules for the utilities. The first report is due on or before August 1, 2011, for the year 2011, and an annual report is due on or before August 1 for subsequent years. Failure to comply with the renewable energy requirements results in a minimum penalty equal to twice the market value of RECs that would have been required to meet the requirement. The KCC is not required to assess penalties for compliance years 2011 and 2012 if the utility can demonstrate a good faith effort to comply with the requirement. Penalties may vary after evaluation of mitigating circumstances or evidence of good faith efforts to comply.