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CU reserves additional wind power for Springfield customers

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Even wind farms located hundreds of miles away in Oklahoma and Kansas are now furnishing power to utilities in the Ozarks. Both City Utilities of Springfield and members of Associated Electric Cooperative in Springfield are rapidly expanding their capacity to reach at least 40 percent of their total electrical power.

City Utilities of Springfield has secured an additional 100 MW of wind energy from the 300 MW Diamond Vista wind project near Salina, Kansas. CU is one of three entities acquiring power and renewable energy credits of the wind energy through a long-term purchased power agreement (PPA).

The addition of this resource, expected to begin delivery in early 2019, will bring the total renewable energy portfolio of CU to approximately 40 percent of City Utilities demand for electricity.

The Diamond Vista wind project, recently acquired by Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (EGNPA) from Tradewind Energy, is currently under construction with an expected completion date of late 2018.

“Our mission is to responsibly serve our customers and community beyond their expectations,” says Scott Miller, General Manager for City Utilities of Springfield. “The Diamond Vista wind project will expand our renewable energy portfolio with another high-quality wind source. This positions CU to be able to provide low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible energy to the Springfield community for decades to come.”

City Utilities of Springfield is a community-owned utility serving 320 square miles in southwest Missouri since 1945 with electricity, natural gas, water, broadband, and public transportation services. CU is governed by a board composed of local citizens to provide 111,000 CU customers some of the lowest rates in the United States.

EGPNA is part of the Renewable Energies division of the Enel Group, is a leading owner and operator of renewable energy plants in North America with projects operating and under development in 23 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. EGPNA operates around 100 plants with a managed capacity exceeding 4.2 GW powered by renewable hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar energy. In 2017, the company was the fastest growing renewable energy company in the US, bringing approximately 1.2 GW of capacity online. The company is currently the largest wind operator in Kansas and Oklahoma.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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