Independence commits to expand renewable energy

Independence Power and Light expects to double its purchase of renewable energy by the end of 2017, according to a report a leading energy publication.

Megawatt Daily reports that IP&L wants to expand solar generated power favoring this approach over additional wind power.

Smoky Hill Wind Farm near Salina, Kansas

Smoky Hill Wind Farm near Salina, Kansas

Currently  5% of IP&L's power is renewable through purchase of wind-generated electricity  from Smoky Hill Wind Farm in western Kansas.

IP&L wants to increase its renewable energy to 10% by 2018, according to the article by Housley Carr.

Missouri voters in November 2008 approved a ballot initiative which required investor-owned utilities increase renewable electricity generation to 2% of total output by 2011, 5% by 2014, 10% by 2018, and 15% by 2021.

Two percent of generation must come from solar energy; the remainder may come from other renewable sources including landfill gas, wind, biomass, and hydroelectric power.

The measure does not directly apply to municipal-owned utilities though IP&L has voluntarily agreed to meet the so-called "renewable portfolio standard" which requires utilities to produce a specified fraction of their electricity from renewable energy sources.

The Megawatt Daily article also discusses the future of the coal-fired Missouri City and Blue Valley plants which the city owns saying coal generation would be phased out at both plants by January 2016 - two years away.

Missouri City can only burn coal. Blue Valley can burn both coal and natural gas.

Megawatt Daily is a leading industry publication in the electric power industry.