Topeka, Kan., June 20, 2016 – Westar Energy’s green energy commitment grew stronger as it announced its first offering of “green bonds” to support additional renewable energy projects.
Green bonds are an emerging investment asset class that tie the proceeds of a bond issue to environmentally friendly projects. In this instance, the green bond proceeds will be used to invest in wind energy projects, primarily the construction of the Western Plains Wind Farm.
As previously announced, Westar and Infinity Wind Power will construct the Western Plains Wind Farm, a 280-megawatt wind farm in Ford County, Kan., which will bring Westar’s renewable energy commitment to more than 1,700 megawatts. The farm should be operational by early 2017.
“Green bonds provide another opportunity for investment in renewable energy in Kansas,” said Gov. Sam Brownback. “These bonds support eligible green projects in the state and support corporate sustainability goals.”
“As we continue to diversify the way we produce energy, it makes sense for us to offer a green bond so investors can diversify their portfolios,” Tony Somma, Westar Energy chief financial officer, said regarding the offering announced June 13.
During the past few years, investors’ interest in green bonds has grown as a way to channel private sector financing toward climate-friendly projects. Green bonds are a positive, innovative development that help finance the ongoing addition of low-carbon energy sources.
Westar Energy has been growing its Kansas wind generation program for nearly a decade, making Kansas one of the top states in the nation for wind energy production. By early 2017, wind generation will power more than 400,000 homes and businesses served by Westar.
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