SOURCE: Westar Energy, Inc.

Westar Energy, Inc.

March 03, 2009 16:27 ET

Westar Energy, BP Wind Energy Celebrate Completion of Flat Ridge I Wind Farm

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony to Be Held March 5

TOPEKA, KS--(Marketwire - March 3, 2009) - Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) and BP Wind Energy will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony starting at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, March 5, at the Flat Ridge Wind Farm site, 7329A NE Ridge Rd., Nashville, KS 67112, located about 60 miles southwest of Wichita. The event will kick off with the National Anthem performed by a group of Medicine Lodge High School students. State Treasurer Dennis McKinney will speak along with company executives and local leaders. Landowners as well as state and local leaders have been invited to attend.

Treasurer McKinney will tour the wind farm site prior to the event at 11 a.m. Media is invited to attend this tour.

Flat Ridge I Wind Farm is a 100-megawatt (MW) project developed by BP. Westar owns half of the energy generation and will purchase, under a purchase power agreement, the energy from the remaining generation. Flat Ridge I utilizes 40 Clipper 2.5 MW C-96 wind turbine generators, the largest wind turbines built by a U.S. manufacturer.

"Westar ranks among the top 10 utilities in the nation for wind power per customer. We've asked for proposals for an additional 500 MW of renewable resources, and if we get proposals that make sense for our customers and investors, we would rank in the top five. Westar is committed to renewable power and Kansas resources," said Bill Moore, Westar Energy president and chief executive officer.

John Graham, President BP Wind Energy, said: "We are very pleased to have partnered with Westar Energy, our landowners and the people of Barber County on the successful development of the Flat Ridge I wind farm. This is our first wind project in the state of Kansas and marks an important milestone in bringing rural communities a fresh revenue stream without impact to traditional farming and grazing practices."

Westar is currently also investing in two other wind farms: Meridian Way Wind Farm in Cloud County south of Concordia and Central Plains Wind Farm in Wichita County east of Leoti. Westar purchases under a purchase power agreement energy produced at Meridian Way and owns the Central Plains site.

Westar announced in March that it is seeking proposals that could add up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy to its generation mix.

Directions to the wind farm site: 7329A NE Ridge Rd., Nashville, KS 67112: From Wichita, Take KS-42/Southwest Blvd. south - 62 mi.; turn left at SW 170 Ave. - 4.1 mi.; continue on Tri-City Rd. - 1 mi.; turn right at Ridge Rd. - 1.5 mi.

Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is the largest electric utility in Kansas, providing electric service to about 679,000 customers in the state. Westar Energy has about 6,800 megawatts of electric generation capacity and operates and coordinates approximately 35,000 miles of electric distribution and transmission lines.

For more information about Westar Energy, visit us on the Internet at http://www.WestarEnergy.com.

BP Wind Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of BP, one of the world's leading energy companies. BP Wind Energy is one of the leading wind developers in the U.S. with a wind portfolio that includes the opportunity to develop almost 100 projects and a potential total generating capacity of 20,000 megawatts (MW). BP Wind Energy has over 1,000 MW in commercial operation and more than 1,000 MW in an advanced stage of development.

BP America is the largest producer of oil and gas in the United States and one of the nation's largest energy investors. For more information, visit the company's Web sites at http://www.bpalternativenergy.com and http://www.bp.com/us.