The Bowersock Mills and Power Company strives to generate renewable energy in a way that creates a minimum impact on the environment. Although no hydroelectric energy is “no impact,” Bowersock has worked hard to be a good steward of the river. We are very glad to say that in 2005 we were honored with the designation of a “low-impact” hydropower plant. www.lowimpacthydro.org
It is part of Bowersock’s mission to promote the development of renewable energy in Kansas. We believe it is the right thing for Kansans, for our health, for the environment, and for the economy. Over the years, Bowersock has struggled to remain financially solvent, particularly during the 1970s and 80s. Many Lawrence businesses have expressed an interest in purchasing renewable energy from Bowersock, but under Kansas law, Bowersock is only allowed to wholesale its energy. Things have improved for Bowersock, primarily as a result of rulings made by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that have allowed there to be greater opportunities for independent power producers in energy markets. In the late 1970s, the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA), actually set a price floor for purchasers of Bowersock’s energy, at the time Westar Energy. FERC’s later rulings in the 1990s gave Bowersock the opportunity to sell to utilities other than Westar. In June of 2008 we began to sell our energy to the Kansas Power Pool (KPP), which is a consortium of small Kansas municipal utilities. In 2013 we began to sell our power to the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with KPP and KCBPU, and to support the mission of Kansas municipal utilities.
Due to our commitment to the environment and renewable energy, Bowersock highly encourages Kansans to support renewable energy. Although currently no Kansas utilities offer a green power option, you can financially support Bowersock’s production of renewable energy by buying Bowersock’s RECs, historically called Zephyr Energy, which are available through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation www.b-e-f.org
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to support renewable energy is to get involved in the legislative process. Kansas is in need of innovative legislation that supports the development of new resources. In some cases, supporting renewable energy requires opening up the market to competition (as in our own case). In others, it requires additional government legislation such as renewable portfolio standards and net metering. For the latest on what is happening in the Kansas legislature relating to renewable energy, refer to the Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy (GPACE) www.gpace.org. Bowersock encourages all Kansans to get involved in the legislative process. Learn what your legislators are doing in Topeka. If you can, do a little research into what bills your legislator has actually supported. It’s one thing to be “for” renewable energy – the critical thing is to vote for it! Write, call, or email your legislators to let them know that renewable energy is important to you.
Let your state senators and representatives know your thoughts and reasoning on these important issues.