Frozen coal wasn’t a power problem for Kansas utility in recent frigid weather

"Folks are just climbing poles, knocking off ice, heating things up where there's failures," said Chuck Caisley, an Evergy executive. "We've seen what I would call normal operating conditions for extreme weather."


Kansas legislators were recently informed that Evergy was able to maintain normal operating conditions for extreme weather despite frozen coal, because of high winds that powered the big utility’s wind farms.

It was a reference to earlier January weather where high winds and frigid weather hit the region.

The explanation was made before a State House Committee by Evergy executive Chuck Caisley.

“The bottom line is we had enough power over the last week or so and in particular through the weekend when we had the coldest weather to meet demands,” he said in testimony, reported the Topeka Capital Journal.

It was a different situation in Oklahoma three years ago when Winter Storm Uri left renewable energy resources frozen and coal came to the rescue for at least one of the state’s major utilities.

Further, a 2018 report by America’s Power suggested that the idea of “frozen coal” was somewhat of a myth and that large piles of coal maintained by utilities don’t freeze.

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