Expansion of wind energy will drive savings and reliability over the long term

JOPLIN, Mo. - The Empire District Electric Company today announced a proposed plan to expand its wind resources with the development of an additional 800 megawatts of strategically located wind generation in or near its service territory by the end of 2020. Once fully operational, the project is projected to generate cost savings for customers of $150 - $300 million over a twenty-year period. The average residential customer is estimated to save nearly $10 per month over the twenty year period.

“We are pleased to put forward this initiative which demonstrates an innovative approach to reduce energy costs for our customers, while supporting our region by investing locally.” says David Swain, President.

The factors driving this opportunity to reduce energy costs are improved wind turbine technology, which has resulted in decreasing costs and increasing production potentials. Together, these factors are opening new locations in or near Empire’s service territory to cost-effective development which in turn benefits Empire’s customers. Comprehensive research and analysis have proven the presence of adequate wind speed and frequency for reliable energy production within our region. This will be supported by a robust and efficient fleet of natural gas facilities such as Empire’s Riverton, State Line and Energy Center Power Plants in conjunction with other generation resources.

On Oct. 31, the company filed a request for approval of the wind expansion initiative with regulators in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and the project is subject to their respective review. Orders from the various jurisdictions are anticipated by June 2018. Updates and additional information will be provided as this exciting new initiative to meet the energy needs of customers across the region continues.

Based in Joplin, Missouri, The Empire District Electric Company is a subsidiary of Liberty Utilities Co. and headquarters for the Liberty Utilities Central Region, providing electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater service to nearly 320,000 customers across six states. A subsidiary of the company provides fiber optic services. For more information regarding Empire, visit www.empiredistrict.com. For more information about Liberty Utilities, visit www.libertyutilities.com.