KCC receives federal grant to help cities and counties make the switch to more efficient lighting

TOPEKA – The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) has been awarded a $1.9 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to help local governments replace traffic signals and/or street lighting with energy efficient lighting technology.

The agency’s grant application stated that “many publicly owned facilities in Kansas communities are aging and inefficient, incurring high costs for energy and maintenance. Replacement of street lights and traffic signals with more energy efficient lighting can significantly cut energy use and maintenance costs while improving light quality and output.”

The grant is part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The KCC will prioritize awards to cities and counties that did not directly receive federal grants under the program, with a particular focus on rural, underserved and disadvantaged communities.

Applications for funding are expected to be available to eligible entities early next month. More information is available on the KCC website.

Colby Continues to Add New Generation

The City of Colby recently added a second Cat C175 diesel generator at the city’s power plant, as it continues to transition from its legacy generating equipment. The two Cat gensets can provide up to 6 MW of power, combined, and are housed in enclosures positioned next to the substation at the power plant.

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Is ‘Gold’ hydrogen the next clean fuel?

The Biden administration and several companies are eyeing a new way to produce hydrogen: drilling for it underground.

“Gold” hydrogen got a boost in September from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which announced a $20 million funding opportunity. The agency currently is selecting projects. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Colorado School of Mines launched a gold hydrogen research consortium that includes Chevron and BP the same month.

Multiple startups, meanwhile, are moving forward this year on projects. Australia-based HyTerra is planning to soon drill for hydrogen at a well in Kansas on its own. Koloma, which publicly discussed its activities last summer for the first time and is backed by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy, is actively looking for places in the U.S. to drill for gold hydrogen.

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Meet Gideon, KMEA’s IT Specialist

We are thrilled to introduce Gideon Adjei, the newest addition to our team as the IT Specialist, Gideon brings a wealth of experience, passion for innovation, and a proven track record of network installations and creating IT related programs.

Born with an inherent curiosity for technology, although with a BSc in Business Administration, Gideon Adjei embarked on his journey into the realm of IT after he moved to the USA. Growing up fascinated by computers and their potential, he pursued a career in IT after enrolling in SnapIT Solution programs. His academic prowess and natural aptitude for problem-solving laid the foundation for what would become a remarkable career.

Professional Journey:

Gideon’s professional journey is a testament to his dedication and adaptability in the fast-paced IT industry. He cut his teeth working for TNN CompuTech where he quickly rose through the ranks due to his keen insights and ability to navigate complex technological challenges. His experience at TNN CompuTech equipped him with a holistic understanding of IT operations and management.

Leadership and Achievements:

His role at the Office of Apprenticeship as the IT Sector Coordinator showcased his talent for creating new IT related programs and ensuring programs are in line with Federal standards. His commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements has stood the test of time.

Gideon is a visionary professional who believes in the power of technology to transform businesses. His approach is rooted in collaboration, open communication, and a commitment to continuous improvement. He envisions an IT landscape where every technological challenge is an opportunity for growth and innovation.

Joining KMEA

Now, as he joins our team at KMEA, Gideon brings his wealth of experience and forward-thinking mindset to propel us into the digital future. His strategic vision aligns seamlessly with our commitment to staying ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving IT domain.

As we welcome Gideon Adjei to our family, we eagerly anticipate the positive impact he will undoubtedly make on our IT infrastructure. His journey is not just a story of professional growth but a narrative of how passion, dedication, and a forward-thinking mindset can shape the future of technology.

APPA Seeks Community Input

APPA’s 2022 Survey of Payment and Contributions to the State and Local Government is available. Public power utilities with at least 50 percent retail sales according to 2022 EIA data, with a few exceptions, are eligible to participate in the survey. Joint Action Agencies who have at least five (5) members that complete the survey can receive a custom, aggregated cut of the data among just their members.

The information collected on this form is used by APPA to quantify the benefits public power utilities provide to their state and local communities. The direct payments, free services, and other contributions municipal electric utilities provide to local government can be a significant portion of their electric operating revenues. However, these services are commonly under-reported or not reported at all. One purpose of this survey is to help public power utilities recognize and account for all the contributions they are making to their communities. This is essential information to have available to demonstrate to customers and the city government the full benefits of public power. In addition, the information collected on this form will help APPA counter arguments of competitors and opponents that public power utilities do not pay taxes, and therefore do not contribute to local communities.


Results from this survey will be used to create APPA’s Public Power Pays Back report, which is a free report that highlights public power’s contributions to their communities through property-like taxes, payments in lieu of taxes, transfers to the general fund, and free or reduced cost services provided to states and cities. This data is also used in APPA’s Statistical Report to highlight public power’s benefit to the community.


Submissions are due March 21, 2024.

Survey link:



You can preview a PDF of the survey here:



Governor Kelly Announces Six Fast Charging EV Locations

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that more than $4.6 million in federal funds will be directed to the first six locations selected for the state’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula program. With existing fast-charging stations spread across the I-70 and I-135 corridors, these selected locations will fill gaps in EV charging stations along the state’s major highways and interstate system. 

“As more electric cars and trucks make their way onto Kansas roadways, they will need access to adequate charging facilities,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “With these awards, we’ll ensure electric vehicle charging stations are accessible to all Kansans for local and long-distance trips.” 

Elective Pay Credit Online Portal Now Open

The Internal Revenue Service on Dec. 22 unveiled the IRS Energy Credits Online pre-filing registration tool for taxpayers who intend to receive a direct payment or transfer a clean energy credit.

Established by the Inflation Reduction Act, elective pay (or “direct pay”) and transferability are credit monetization mechanisms to help states, local governments, non-profits, and other eligible entities access clean energy tax credits.

KMEA Annual Questionnaire now available

Dear KMEA members, it is that time of year again to participate in the annual survey of the membership. You will be receiving an email soon with the link to the form or you can follow the link here to get started.

Seneca City Council discusses Substation and Generation Projects

On December 20th KMEA staff presented options for discussion on a new substation and generation project to the city of Seneca City Council.

Several months ago, Evergy proposed substantial upgrades to the substation that currently serves Seneca and the local Rural Electric Cooperative.   Seneca staff reached out to KMEA for review of the Evergy plan and potential additional cost to the city if this project got completed.  KMEA and city staff quickly put a list of options together for presentation to the Seneca city council.  The city council reviewed five different options at the meeting.  These options consisted of Evergy moving forward on the rebuilding of the current substation to Seneca city adding a substation along with three generating units to the city’s electric department.  Currently Seneca does not have generating capacity as part of their electric utility.   “The goal for the city is to provide the most reliable and economic utility possible” says Steve Brooks, city manager.

The city council reviewed all the options and gave city staff and KMEA instructions to evaluate the options and evaluate what impact these options would have on the city’s retail rates to the customers.  KMEA and city staff will present the requested information at a meeting in January.