Empire Electric District celebrated for wind powered electricity expansion

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Wind powered electricity is front and center today as a coalition of groups celebrates local expansion plans.

The groups want to recognize Empire District Electric company and the plan to build a new wind farm. It’s representing three groups including the Mom’s Clean Air Force.

“We really applaud empire district for moving toward cleaner energy,” says Kay Mills.

And now the Mom’s Clean Air Force is teaming up with the Sierra Club and another group called Renew Missouri to show their support.

“This is just a fun award that our members and their kids have signed to show Empire District Electric that we are happy to support a program that keeps our kids healthy,” says Kay Mills with Moms Clean Air Force.

Empire District Electric Company and Liberty Utilities original plan called for an 800 megawatt wind farm, much of which would be built within a four county area including Joplin. It’s now moving forward on a smaller scale at 600 megawatts.

“This is something that makes economic sense in addition to environmental sense that’s always been the message of wind and solar is this is something we should do for the planet,” says James Owen with Renew Missouri.

The groups say all three privately owned electric companies in Missouri are expanding their green options, something they hope to see more and more of in the future.

“You’re going to start seeing things like battery storage that’s going to be able to replace coal and replace nuclear, I mean right now we have to have coal because the wind’s not always blowing, it’s blowing today but the sun’s not shining that’s always a big concern with renewable energies,” says James Owen.

It’s been a long process seeking approval for the project – originally that included closing the Asbury power plant. The current version calls for a delay in that, keeping it open for now.

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