Westar Energy signs agreement to purchase power plant

24 October 2004 – Westar Energy has announced it has signed an agreement to purchase a 300 MW gas fired power plant from ONEOK, Inc. for $53m.

The Spring Creek power plant is located in southwest Logan County, Oklahoma. ONEOK built the plant in 2001.

Westar Energy plans to use the plant to meet its customers’ peak electric power needs during periods of high demand, such as during the hottest summer hours.

Earlier this year, Westar Energy announced a site study for future generation units, including a gas-fired plant to meet its demand during peak periods. Today’s transaction will help Westar Energy meet its customers’ demand for energy at a cost favorable to projections for building a new gas- fired peaking plant. Citing the ongoing need to plan for its customers’ future energy needs, Westar Energy said that it will continue its current site study for locations to build peaking and coal-fired power plants.

“Demand for electricity in Kansas continues to grow. The opportunity to purchase the Spring Creek plant fits into our plans for meeting our customers’ electric energy needs,” said Doug Sterbenz, senior vice president, generation and marketing.

Today’s transaction requires approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and is expected to be completed in 2006.

Westar Energy is the largest electric utility in Kansas, providing electric service to about 659,000 customers in the state. Westar Energy has nearly 6,000 megawatts of electric generation capacity and operates and coordinates approximately 33,000 miles of electric distribution and transmission lines.