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Missouri Utility Companies Hope To Transition From Coal To Wind Energy Early

By Brian Spaen

Missouri has largely relied on coal-fired power plants, but a major utility company in the state is making an early transition to renewable energy. Empire District Electric Company will be retiring the Asbury Power Plant well ahead of schedule. It’s a step further than another utility company in St. Louis that will gradually switch over in the coming years.

Empire filed their plans with state regulators back on October 31st to begin shutting down their coal-fired power plant while also building a new $1.5 billion wind farm in southwestern Missouri. The utility serves residents in Joplin and Springfield, and the 800-megawatt wind farm would be located in a rural area north of Joplin.

An estimated completion date for the wind farm hasn’t been announced but wind turbines would start being constructed next year. Empire has already mapped out a potential 40,000 acres that wind turbines could be installed in the counties of Jasper, Barton, Dade, and Lawrence. The Asbury Power Plant would close by April 2019.