In 1901, Independence city leaders – then a community of roughly 7,000 – decided to take a bold step and create our current municipal electrical power company now known Independence Power and Light.
It was a time of great change and innovation.
Automobiles were a novelty, commercial radio was unimagined and television an unknown idea. Computers, internet and amazing personal technology would come later.
City leaders created the city-owned electrical utility at the turn of the 20th century so the community could benefit from the opportunities (real and many not even imagined) from harnessing the capacity to generate and transmit electricity could have for the community.
“Ownership of the electric utility meant independence for the people of Independence,” commented an official history of the city electric utility which now serves a community of over 116,000 with over 56,000 electric and water customers.
And like the world around us, the electric utilities and the backbone transmission grid over which it wheels electrical power is facing tremendous changes.
The industry is shifting from coal-fired generation to other sources, primarily natural gas, wind and solar. Currently 13.5 percent of IPL’s power is generated from either wind (purchased in Kansas) or solar (currently generated by the community solar farm and scheduled to significantly expand next summer).Read More