Power is part of our daily lives and is a modern necessity just like air, water and land.
How do we protect what’s so important to us, if having one may have a negative effect on the others? Well, that’s our challenge and it’s why, at Westar, we’re reducing our impact on the environment.
Take a deep breath. As you exhale, you send carbon dioxide into the environment. Generating energy also creates byproducts. You can’t do anything about the CO2 you exhale, but we’re reducing our emissions across Kansas.
We currently employ 25 environmental experts, including 17 biologists.
At Westar, we have been reducing emissions to make our generating facilities cleaner than regulations have required for years.
We have invested $1. 8 billion to improve air quality since 2005.
By 2017, 50% of your power will be generated with no emissions.
We have dramatically reduced emissions since 2005.
Watch the video to learn how.
Though the emissions you see are mostly water vapor, burning coal still produces particulate matter—the technical term for solids and liquids in the air we breathe.
Electrostatic charging plates work like huge magnets to remove particulate matter before it can enter the atmosphere.
Bag houses act like giant vacuum cleaners that filter out particulate matter from exhaust gas before it’s sent into the atmosphere.
Fly ash and gypsum are other byproducts of producing energy at a clean coal plant. They’re also part of the concrete and gravel you’ll find all across Kansas because we reuse 50% of our ash products locally.
The fly ash at Jeffrey Energy Center has also become a nesting site for endangered least terns because it’s similar to the sandbars the birds natively nest in.
No living thing exists without water, so it’s important to conserve our water and keep it clean.
It takes a lot of water to generate energy. It’s heated into steam to turn turbines and used as a liquid for cooling and emissions controls.
In the last two years, our conservation efforts saved 800 million gallons of water annually.
By 2017, we’ll be saving 970 million gallons each year.(That’s almost 1,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools.)
Our innovative wetlandsecosystem at Jeffrey Energy Center recycles more than 80 million gallons of water each year.
We’re Kansans too. So just like you, we live here and raise our families here. That’s why protecting the land in our state is vital to everyone at Westar.
We also partner with environmental groups such as The Sierra Club, Friends of the Kaw and the Nature Conservancy to improve access for Kansans to enjoy our natural resources.
Green Team members help set up at Symphony in the Flint Hills every summer. In fact, Westar employees make up more than 90% of the volunteers for this event thathelps Kansans experiencethe ecological significance of the Flint Hills.
The rooftop of our Topeka office is a home for peregrine falcons. In 2007, we built a nest to shelter these birds and have seen 20 chicks hatch since then. Not bad for a species that was once endangered.
At Westar, we promise to do more than just power your life. We also pledge to keep reducing our impact on the environment.
You’ve seen what we’ve done so far, but we’ll continue finding new ways to protect the air, land and water in the state we all call home.
> Learn more about our wind farms
> See our solar energy learning projects
> Go to the Clean Energy homepage