The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a long-term energy plan presented by Empire District Electric Company, Explorer Pipeline Company, Praxair, Inc., the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the PSC staff, according to a PSC news release. The remainder of the release reads:
“The agreement strikes a reasonable and appropriate balance between the interests of Empire’s customers and shareholders regarding Empire’s participation in Iatan 2. The agreement is designed to positively impact Empire’s credit ratings. Thus Empire should have lower debt costs to pass on to consumers in the form of lower future rates,” the Commission said.
The plan includes:
* Empire’s participation in an 800-900 Megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant(Iatan 2) near Weston, Missouri. The agreement assists Empire in meeting its needs for generation so that it can achieve its energy and capacity requirements. The agreement gives Empire the opportunity to own at least 100 MW of coal-fired generation to be built in Missouri by Kansas City Power & Light (Iatan 2).
* Environmental upgrades at Iatan 1.
Environmental upgrades on Iatan 1 ensure that total site emissions from Iatan 1 and Iatan 2 will be less than current site emissions from Iatan 1 and will help address the environmental concerns of citizens living in the area around theIatan site.
* Environmental upgrades at Asbury, Missouri plant.
Environmental equipment installations will reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions.
* A 155 MW gas-fired peaking generating unit to be located at the Riverton generating station in Riverton, Kansas.
* Various efficiency and affordability programs for customers. The agreement design gives Empire the opportunity to maintain its investment grade ratings during the term of the experimental regulatory plan, which is important to Empire’s shareholders and creditors. In addition, the agreement protects Empire’s customers by recognizing that the Commission may disallow expenses deemed to be imprudent or unreasonable. Empire District Electric Company serves approximately 137,000 electric customers in 16 southwest Missouri counties.