Grid Resilience Grant Due December 29th

As part of the Department of Energy’s goal to improve grid resilience the Kansas Corporation Commission has received a grant for small utilities to apply for.  The primary goal of the program is to demonstrate measurable improvements in energy resilience, with a focus to necessary and supporting grid modernization investments in rural, underserved, and disadvantaged communities, to invest in modernized grid infrastructure and to create good-paying jobs.

The current amount that is available to small utilities in this round of funding is $13,313,126 with future amounts of $6,647,000 available over the next 3 fiscal years.

This grant does have a cost match portion which typically will be up to 48% of the project cost.  The state of Kansas does have funds that can be utilized to help with these matching funds through the Build Kansas Fund.  These funds are specifically designed to help organizations leverage local dollars and to support infrastructure projects within Kansas.  Please follow the link for further details on that program. Build Kansas Fund Overview — Kansas Infrastructure Hub (

The Grid Resilience Grant, commonly known as the 40-101 (D) program does have a deadline of 5 pm ct. on December 29th.  Please follow the link for full details on the program and application directions. Kansas Corporation Commission – Formula Grant for Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid (

If you should have any questions regarding these programs, please contact Tyson McGreer, Manager Member Services at or 913-660-0235.

Oberlin Takes Delivery of Two CAT Engines

On October 23rd the city of Oberlin took delivery of two new CAT C175 3.0 MW engines.  This marks the first delivery of equipment under KMEA’s new financing program.  These engines will replace the city’s current, outdated generation.  In addition to providing Oberlin with easy-to-run, reliable generation that will serve the community in time of need for many years to come, they also help the city meet its Southwest Power Pool capacity requirement .

The KMEA financing program is aimed to give cities an option when a large, capital-intensive project, like the purchase of new generation, is needed for the utility.  KMEA assumes the project-related debt on behalf of the city.  The city reimburses KMEA through a capacity contract payment that is simply included on KMEA’s normal monthly power supply bill.

Osawatomie partners with Garden City to receive emergency transformer


On the evening of Thursday, October 24th, the city of Osawatomie began experiencing troubles at the power plant substation.  After a full diagnosis of the problem, it was determined that the substation transformer was damaged, and a replacement was needed.  With the cooperation of city staff and KMEA/Mid-States a replacement transformer was located in Garden City.  To meet the urgent need, the City of Garden City quickly approved the sale of the transformer and began efforts to load and transport it to Osawatomie Thursday evening.

“The leadership shown by the City of Osawatomie to reach out and the responsiveness of the City of Garden City’s Electric Department staff is a testament to the value of the public power community, in general, and, more specifically, it is a testament to the value of being a member of KMEA.” Says Matt Allen, City Manager, Garden City.

According to Osawatomie’s City Manager Bret Glendening, the oversized load permit for travel at night was obtained in approximately 4 hours, which has to be at, or near a record to allow for legal transport of the 70,000 lb. load.

The transformer arrived in Osawatomie around 8 am on Friday morning. Work began immediately, preparing a new gravel road to get the transformer up an 11% grade to its permanent location.  With the coordinated work of the city, KMEA Mid-States, and Bardroff Heavy Hauling, the transformer was positioned, hooked up, and delivering power to the affected 300 meters by 12:30 am on Saturday.  In the worst case some customers were without power for seventy-six hours.

“Without the fast work of city employees, KMEA, and Garden City, the situation likely would have lasted much longer.  The cooperation between municipal utilities and the strong connections and expertise from KMEA Mid-States was paramount in the completion of this emergency project” says Glendening.

KMGA 2023 Awards

This year’s recipient of Mike Gilliland award was Pat Adams, the City Administrator of the City of Halstead. Pat started working for the city on April 25, 1994 as a Utility Maintenance Worker. In October of 2000, he was promoted to the position of City Superintendent, overseeing all of the city’s Public Works and Utilities.

KMEA 2023 Awards

Bill Johnson, the General Manager for Kansas City BPU was the recipient of the award this year. Bill was appointed General Manager of Kansas City BPU on April 1, 2019. He has over 40 years of diverse utility experience into this executive leadership role. His responsibilities include serving as the Chief Executive Officer for the largest municipal electric and water utility in the State of Kansas. He earned an MBA from Ottawa University in 2007.

2023 Annual Conference

The 2023 Annual Conference was a success! The event was held in Wichita, Kansas on October 19th and 20th. We had representatives from 49 member cities and over 140 attendees total. We would like to thank all our sponsors, the conference would not be possible without their support. This year we had 21 companies sponsoring our event.

Ben Whiting was the keynote speaker and he opened the conference. His presentation was fun and inspiring! It was focused on leadership development with a touch of magic and lots of laughs.

Cities Toured Dogwood Facility

Representatives from the Cities of Garden City, Gardner, Lindsborg, Ottawa, and Russell toured the Dogwood facility on September 21st. Dogwood is a 650 MW, natural gas fired, combined-cycle facility located in Pleasant Hill, Missouri

In 2017, KMEA entered into an asset purchase agreement with Dogwood Energy LLC for the purchase of a 10.1% ownership interest (approximately 62 megawatts) in the Dogwood Energy facility on behalf of the five cities mentioned above.  Through this arrangement those cities were able to join forces to secure a life-of-unit, reliable and economic power supply resource for each of their communities. The project began providing energy to the five cities on March 30, 2018.

Following the tour a Dogwood Project Participants Committee Meeting was held at KMEA’s office.

Kent Balkenbusch takes over as Day Ahead System Operator

On September 25th, Kent Balkenbusch assumed the Day Ahead System Operator position. The position was previously occupied by DJ Smith. After dedicating 7 years to KMEA DJ moved on to a new career with the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

Kent has been employed at KMEA since 2014 and has been a system operator since 2016.  In his new role Kent will be responsible for daily and monthly scheduling of power supply on behalf of KMEA member cities. Kent also monitors market conditions, oversees meter data and load forecasting, and holds a weekly operations update meeting with member cities.


Governor Kelly Announces Launch of $200M Build Kansas Fund to Accelerate Transformative Community Infrastructure Projects

On September 19,2023 Governor Laura Kelly, alongside the Kansas Infrastructure Hub (KIH), announced the launch of the Build Kansas Fund, which provides state matching dollars to Kansas communities for infrastructure projects approved under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

The Build Kansas Fund will invest $200 million directly into Kansas communities to support projects that include water, transportation, energy, cybersecurity, and broadband through Fiscal Year 2027.

“The Build Kansas Fund makes it possible for communities across the state to seize the tremendous opportunities provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” Governor Kelly said. “These matching dollars empower our local leaders to forge ahead with projects that will grow our economy, connect people and businesses to high-speed internet, and build safer infrastructure that improves life for all Kansans.”

Governor Kelly announced the creation of the KIH in 2022 to ensure Kansas has an effective and efficient distribution of the funds received from BIL. The Kansas Infrastructure Hub, a coordinating body comprised of representatives from the Kansas Departments of Administration, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Environment and Transportation, along with the Kansas Corporation Commission and the Kansas Water Office, will manage the Build Kansas Fund, offering technical assistance, tracking funds, and promoting grant opportunities.

“The Kansas Infrastructure Hub has been working diligently to unite cross-sector stakeholders around Kansas’ infrastructure priorities,” said Calvin Reed, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation. “We look forward to supporting Build Kansas Fund applicants as they strive to optimize their BIL projects’ potential.”

Eligible entities include Kansas state agencies, counties, municipalities, special districts, community organizations, nonprofits, and federally recognized tribes that have or intend to apply for a federal BIL program requiring a non-federal match.

The Build Kansas Fund Application is live. Entities can apply via the Kansas Infrastructure Hub website at:

To learn more about the Kansas Infrastructure Hub, visit:

KCC Announces Notice of Funding Opportunity For Subgrants to Eligible Entities to Improve the Resilience of the Electric Grid

KCC announced notice of funding opportunity to provide guidance to eligible entities (electric grid operators, electricity storage operators, electricity generators, transmission owners or operators, distribution provider and fuel suppliers or other entities determined by the DOE) for preparation of subgrant applications to be submitted to the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) in response to Section 40101(d) of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

Under this Program, the Department of Energy (DOE) provides grants to States to improve the resilience of their electric grid against disruptive events. A disruptive event, as defined by the Program, is “an event in which operations of the electric grid are disrupted, preventively shut off, or cannot operate safely due to extreme weather, wildfire, or a natural disaster.”

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