A public hearing for recently released master energy plan for Independence Power & Light will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Independence Utilities Center, 17221 E. 23rd St., Independence.
The Public Utilities Advisory Board is hosting the special meeting in collaboration with the citizens group Indy Energy.
The public is invited to attend and provide public feedback on the master energy plan – which had been recommended in a management audit last year and was developed by Burns & McDonnell. The PUAB is able to make recommendations to the City Council on future steps.
As anticipated, the master energy plan recommends retiring the 60-year-old Blue Valley Power Plant, as there are cheaper alternatives than keeping up a plant that has grown inefficient and is rarely called upon for power production.
The plan also noted that an increased ownership in the natural-gas fired Dogwood plant in Pleasant Hill appears to be the best-cost alternative to replacing Blue Valley's power necessary to maintain capacity, due to gas prices settling greatly in the last few years and having favorable projections.
The city also was recommended to continue using the gas-fired turbines in the near term because they provide low-cost capacity despite their age, and retiring Blue Valley but maintaining the turbines would require the least investment in transmission.
A cost-of-service rate study, also developed by Burns & McDonnell, is due to be presented to the City Council this fall. Mayor Eileen Weir asked city staff to present some recommendations to the council by Oct. 1 for capping or reducing rates and also requested regularly scheduled master plan reviews.
City Council Member Mike Huff asked the city manager to start the “request for proposal” process for finding capacity to replace Blue Valley.
Thursday's meeting will be focused on the master energy plan and not other IPL-related issues.