Better Together

Better together. That’s what officials from Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy, doing business as Kansas City Power and Light, say they will be after a merger between the two utilities is complete.

Leaders from both companies were in Salina Friday to discuss the merger of the two largest utility operators in Kansas and Missouri.

Terry Bassham is the Chairman, President, and CEO of Kansas City power and Light. He will be the leader of the newly merged comapny as well.

Bassham says that the new company will have a combined 3,000 megawatts of wind power, putting it among the top 10 in the country. The wind power, combined with nuclear power, means that over 50 percent of the company’s power will be non-carbon.

Bassham said that all of the community centers, including the one in Salina, will remain open and at a minimum will continue with the same services. Staff efficiencies will come come through retirements and attrition. Involuntary employee reductions will be minimal.

The merger is expected to be complete in April. Once complete the new company will be worth an estimated $20 billion, and will be a Fortune 500 Company.

The new company will eventually get a new name, but it has not been decided exactly what that name will be.