COLUMBIA, Mo. - City officials are expected to take steps this week that could eventually bring wind power energy to Columbia by 2008, the first such wind energy project in the state.
Proposals in Congress to rein in carbon dioxide emissions believed to be contributing to man-made global climate change have brought any plans to build or invest in new coal-burning power plants to a halt.
"Looking 20 years out, it gets very difficult to do that in today's environment," Hartman said. "It's an uncertain future on coal and it takes a few years to build (a plant)."
For the third time, Wind Capital Group, John Deere and Missouri cooperatives have announced plans to build another utility-scale wind farm. The $75 million wind farm is slated to operate in northwest Missouri by the end of 2007.
A Missouri legislative committee has salvaged the state's renewable energy law, but it looks like it had to be considerably weakened to succeed. At least, renewable energy advocates say, the requirement for state-sourced clean energy has survived earlier attacks.
Also, Ameren said it would develop at least 100 megawatts of wind power and launch a program allowing customers to support additional development of wind power and other forms of renewable energy.
Last year, 400-foot-tall wind turbines were erected near King City, some less than 2,000 feet from Charlie Porter's house on his small acreage.
Soon the sounds from the blades swooshing through the air and other noise were driving Porter and his family crazy, he said.
"The sound gets in your head like a saw and you can't get rid of it," Porter said. "Some people compare it to a train that never arrived."
Porter's complaints upset his brother-in-law, a Gentry County commissioner who helped bring the wind farm and new economy to the area, as well as others. In February, it spilled over into a fistfight between them, then a lawsuit.
At the heart of the dispute: Just how healthy is the noise from wind turbines? ...One researcher calls it "wind turbine syndrome," a collection of symptoms that include headaches, anxiety attacks and high blood pressure. Doctors in some other countries have done research on people who live near turbines and say the sounds they emit make them sick.
Several researchers suggest that turbines should be set back from homes, schools and hospitals by more than a mile.
High Prairie Wind Energy, owned by Wind Capital Group, is seeking to create a wind farm just north of Queen City, but the development will likely harm or kill Indiana bats, one of 14 bat species in the state.
In order to overcome that challenge, the project will need an incidental take permit.
The bill would cut the mandate for renewable energy about in half, resulting in utilities deriving 7 percent, rather than 15 percent, of their electricity from green fuels by 2020. It also would eliminate a controversial provision that allowed utilities to receive credit for subsidizing out-of-state renewable projects.
It's going to be a longer commute for people heading out of town Friday evening.
A truck carrying part of a large wind turbine damaged some girders at the Highway 60 and 65 interchange around ten Friday morning.
It was traveling westbound on Highway 60 and cleared the first overpass on 65. But it hit the southbound bridge because the clearance is slightly lower on that side.
Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan says the state's attorney general's office agrees that there is no conflict of interest in her office promoting renewable energy, even though her brother is an investor in a wind-energy production company.
It took a St. Clair County jury less than an hour last month to find Wetzel guilty on four counts of forgery for falsifying a building permit on a 120-foot wind turbine he wanted to construct at his business, which sits near Illinois Route 157 and Interstate 64.
Village attorney Duane Clarke, who did not prosecute the case, said each of the forgery charges resulted when Wetzel presented a demolition permit to the police and zoning departments to make it appear he also had permission to build the structure.
Local voters approved a law in 2004 that requires Water and Light to devote part of its energy portfolio to renewable sources such as wind or landfill gas. The law requires that 2 percent of the city’s electricity come from renewables by 2008.
Power from the wind farm should account for about 1 percent of the city’s output, a spokeswoman for the city utility said. The city should start receiving energy from Bluegrass Ridge early next year. "I’m proud of Columbia for its commitment to sustainable, renewable energy," Mayor Darwin Hindman said. "This city already has had a good record of programs dedicating to conserving energy, … but that will only go so far."
It might be worth showing up at the Columbia City Council meeting tomorrow night just to hear folks try to pronounce "anemometer."
That's the device the city wants to put on top of the KOMU-TV tower south of town to measure wind speeds. City officials want to find out whether there's enough wind to generate electricity for local use.
The city council is slated to vote on a resolution recommended by city staff calling for the city to pay $11,626 to the Department of Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia to install the device and record the data.
Wind power, however, will not come without cost - 50 percent more at current rates.
Water and Light estimates it now pays about $40 per megawatt hour for traditionally generated power. With wind power, that cost rises to about $60 per megawatt hour.
Officials in Sullivan County agree a wind farm would be a positive addition, but they don't agree on how much they should do to accommodate the company that would bring it there.
The county commission wants to create an enhanced enterprise zone to give Tradewind Energy the tax incentives they say they need. County Clerk Mike Hepler and Assessor Karen LaFever say the enhanced enterprise zone would leave the county short changed.
"To sell out too cheap is not representing the public interest, it's representing the private interest. I was elected to represent the public interest," Hepler says.
Proposed power plants in Kansas and Missouri have become targets of environmentalists who are fighting to halt a new wave of coal-fired units.
Crowder College officials say they are awaiting the delivery of computer hardware parts before the college's wind turbine can finally be functional.
Exactly when that will be, however, hasn't been pinpointed. The plain fact of the matter is, it's risky to say, according to Dan Eberle, interim director of Crowder's MARET Center.
As far back as January, it was hoped the turbine would be spinning within a few weeks. Many months later, the wind machine's three 750-pound blades remain still. ...Mounted on a 124-foot tower, the prominently visible 65-kilowatt turbine needs a replacement logic board, Eberle said, as well as new sensors.
The Gentry County Commission will rely on a technicality in its fight against a civil lawsuit surrounding a new wind farm.
Charles Allen Porter filed the federal court lawsuit in late March against the commission and Associate Commissioner Gary Carlson. Mr. Porter alleged that Mr. Carlson assaulted him over his opposition to the Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm located near King City. He also said the facility has harmed his family, destroyed his property and caused him to lose sleep. Several wind turbines are located within 2,000 feet of Mr. Porter's property. ..."Because plaintiff has failed to properly serve process upon the county, the court is without jurisdiction over the county," Mr. Coronado said.
The only other means of proper service would have been through the county clerk, he said.
Attorney Charles Speer said he intends to serve the county, this time ensuring Mr. Dollars and the county clerk's office receive the paperwork.
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - Atchison County's position as the state's wind farm capital is strengthening as a third company is laying plans for a wind-energy complex in northwest Missouri.
NextEra Energy Resources is considering developing a 200-megawatt wind farm project spreading across DeKalb and Clinton counties.
“It is an area we are very interested in,” said Steve Stengel, spokesman for NextEra Energy Resources. “We have been talking to potential landowners about the project.”