Public hearing on Missouri City power plant project set for July 6

On Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 10:30 am, the Independence MO Public Utilities Advisory Board ("PUAB") will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed sale, demolition and remediation of the City-owned Missouri City Power Plant. 

The meeting will be at the Independence Utilities Center, in Room 117, First Floor.  The Independence Utilities Center is located at 17221 East 23rd Street South.

Interested citizens and ratepayers are encouraged to attend and participate.

The project has the subject of considerable discussions and questions related to the selection of a high bidder to do the work.

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Bids to Decommission Missouri City Power Plant Result in Major Cost Differences

The City Council is considering a $9.7 million proposal to decommissioning the shutdown Missouri City Power Plant even though a bid for approximately half that amount was received from another qualified firm.

The higher proposal, received from Environmental Operations Inc, is on the City Council agenda for first reading Monday, June 18th. Two readings are required and approval could occur at the July 10th meeting.

The matter received extensive discussion at the June 15th Public Utilities Advisory Board (PUAB) which voted 4-1 against recommending the higher bid to the City Council. Board members raised several questions about why the lower bid from Commercial Liability Partners was not acceptable.

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IPL considers expanding community solar

Independence Power and Light is considering adding another 4mw community solar farm to meet strong community demand for renewable energy from the sun.

The initial community solar farm, which went online in March 2017, is 100% subscribed and there is a waiting list of residential and business customers interested if additional solar capacity is added, according to IPL director Leon Daggett.

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IPL receives national recognition for reliability

Independence Power and Light is one of 110 public power utilities to recently earn the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service.

IPL received the Diamond Level - the highest level.

The RP3 designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.

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Council gets automatic meter update

The Independence City Council received an extensive update presentation on automatic utility meters at it March 13th meeting.

The presentation, provided Independence Power and Light Deputy Director Andrew Boatright, provided an update on where the city utility was in considering switching to automatic meters.

Based on the initial review, the revised report estimated the project costs would drop from $48.8 million to $40.2 million with a nine-year breakeven payback.

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City Breaks Ground on New Utility Building

Work on the new city utility center on the former Medical Center of Independence campus is commencing and major project be completed in early 2017.

The ambitious plan converts a former physician office building into administrative offices and customer service center for city-owned utilities including Independence Power & Light.

IPL director Leon Daggett said the building is part of an overall effort to make Independence "one of the greenest cities in the state."

Independence is expanding its purchase of additional wind energy, reached an agreement a new community solar farm and stop burning coal at the two city-operated power plants - Missouri City and Blue Valley.

The new building hopes to meet platinum LEED building standards. 

City Explores Automatic Meter Readers

The City Council is considering whether to install advanced utility meters for city utilities.

The city has an extensive report from West Monroe Partners on the costs and benefits installing an "advanced metering infrastructure" (AMI)

The issue was discussed at the Feb. 8 City Council study session and previously presented to the Public Utilities Advisory Board in December.

The project, if approved, would be implemented over multiple years and costs significant money.

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Should IPL adopt a fund balance policy?

Independence Power and Light (IPL) is a complex capital intensive enterprise.

To make sure it has sufficient funds to meet its ongoing needs, a 2013 recent rate study suggested the City Council - the IPL governing board - formally adopt an "unrestricted cash fund balance."

The City Council has its own policy for fund balances, but nothing comparable currently exists for IPL.

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Community of Christ church shares letter on energy issues

Community of Christ church leaders sent a letter City Council members and church leaders supporting cleaner energy for the community and customers of Independence Power & Light. 

The Nov. 21 letter states: "All of us have entrusted to be responsible stewards of God's sacred creation and bring about peace on and for the Earth - not just for our own generation, but for future generations."

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