Great Plains files application, PSC sets intervention deadline

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Less than a week after being ordered to file an acquisition application by the Missouri Public Service Commission, Great Plains Energy (GPE) filed the required paperwork seeking the commission’s approval for an estimated $12.2 billion merger.

The PSC unanimously approved an order on Wednesday, Feb. 22 that required GPE to file the applications no later than March 4. GPE, the holding company forKansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company (GMO), filed the necessary papers on Monday, Feb. 27.

The issue comes from a proposed transaction in which GPE would acquire all of the stock for Westar Energy. That merger has been met with plenty of opposition, including that of the Kansas Corporate Commission’s staff.

The merger has been an issue for the Missouri PSC as well, the latest dealing involving a complaint filed by the Midwest Energy Consumers Group (MECG) against GPE. That complaint alleged that GPE violated a PSC order from 2001. In that order concerning the restructuring of Kansas City Power and Light – and the creation of GPE – it was agreed that the company would not acquire or merge with any public utility or affiliate unless they received approval from the PSC. GPE did not seek approval in their efforts to acquire Westar Energy.

Having filed the necessary application, GPE has now asked for expedited treatment requesting that a Commission order on its application go into effect no later than April 24, 2017. The proposed merger had been intended to take effect this spring.

Applications to intervene and participate in this case must be filed no later than March 2, 2017, with the Secretary of the Missouri Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 360, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102, or by using the Commission’s electronic filing and information service (EFIS) at www.psc.mo.gov .

Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.