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Midwest Utilities Pondering Wind, Solar

solar - ground mount2KCP&L and Ameren Corp. are considering adding wind and solar, respectively.

KCP&L, which serves the Kansas City area and parts of eastern Kansas, has issued a request for proposals to add up to 300 megawatts of wind generating capacity in 2010 and 2011, according to a press release.

KCP&L already owns a 100.5 MW wind farm in Spearville, Ks., which generates enough electricity to supply about 33,000 homes.

The new projects would provide enough power for more than 100,000 homes. The first project would call for a company to build and own another 100.5 MW of capacity at the Spearville location and sell it to KCP&L under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Other projects under consideration include PPAs at other locations, as well as traditional wind deals whereby KCP&L would own and operate the facilities after construction.

In St. Louis, Ameren Corp. is beginning to explore how it can use the sun to help it meet customer needs, as well as mandates from Missouri and Illinois.

Ameren is building two solar projects, one at its St. Louis headquarters and another in Illinois, reports the Associated Press.

The demonstration project at the headquarters will evaluate different kinds of technologies that can be used in both commercial and residential applications.

The Illinois site has yet to be determined. The solar installations should generate between 25 and 550 kilowatts of electricity. Both Missouri and Illinois have mandated that investor-owned utilities in their states generate a portion of their electricity from renewable sources.

Missouri mandates utilities generate or purchase 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2021.

Illinois will require utilities to supply 10 percent of their electricity by 2015.

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