Articles filed under General from Missouri
The big problem is that practically nobody understands how electricity works. It is pathetic to see and hear the amount of misinformation being bandied about concerning the ideas for replacing crude oil and coal. The electric co-ops have tried for years to tactfully inform us that we have to use coal. People are apparently not listening.
Average wind speeds in Missouri are lower than reported on a state-produced wind map, said a University of Missouri atmospheric scientist. This finding may affect utilities and private investors planning to build wind turbines to provide clean, renewable energy. Lower-than-predicted wind speeds also may make it harder to meet goals set in 2008 by Missouri Proposition C ...to obtain a gradually increasing percentage of their energy from renewable sources.
Zoltek Cos. Inc. posted a loss in its fiscal third quarter as wind farm developers delay projects to see how they can cash in on the federal stimulus package. The company lost $1.4 million in the quarter ended June 30, compared with a profit of $2.3 million a year ago.
Wind energy has already come quite a distance in Northwest Missouri, but the industry is now encountering some turbulence. Critics now ask about the turbines' noise, how best to finance the farms and the impact on customer electric rates. One King City resident remains unconvinced that he can peacefully co-exist with the wind turbines of the Bluegrass Ridge Farm next to his house. Charlie Porter recently filed a lawsuit against Deere & Co. and the Wind Capital Group of St. Louis, alleging that the turbines have caused him to lose sleep and devalue his property.
The city is not getting as much wind power as it expected from the state's first wind farm, and costs are higher than anticipated. The city thought it would receive 2 percent of its monthly energy from Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm in Gentry County in 2008, but the actual amount has been between 0.5 percent and 1.4 percent a month. Connie Kacprowicz of Columbia Water and Light said the reason the city hasn't received as much energy as it anticipated for much of 2008 has been cracked blades on turbines at the wind farm.
The idea was for the homeowners to be able to send any excess power back to utilities. But the Missouri Public Service Commission, which oversees the utilities, is requiring homeowners to buy insurance before they start feeding electricity to the grid. And it appears that no Missouri insurance companies sell the insurance.
A legal center in St. Louis has filed suit against a Missouri commission, saying it believes a new insurance rule will discourage people from trying to produce their own solar or wind power. ...This fall, the PSC issued an order that customers who produce 10 kilowatts or less of energy need to carry $100,000 worth of liability insurance, and that those who produce more than 10 to 100 kilowatts of energy need to carry $1 million worth of liability insurance, the lawsuit said.
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.
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.
A committee charged with determining what kind of tax incentives Sullivan County should offer a wind energy committee has been delayed. They were supposed to offer their recommendations to the county commission late last month, but scheduling conflicts got in the way. Presiding Commissioner Chris May tells KTVO he expects to hear from the committee in the next few weeks. May hopes wind energy will help with economic development in Sullivan County, it the same way it's benefitting other rural communites.
At 265 feet tall, four gleaming white wind turbines tower over the tiny farm town of Rock Port, Missouri, like a landing of alien intruders. But despite their imposing presence and the stark contrast with the rolling pastures and corn fields, the turbines have received a warm welcome here. ...Last year, a record 3,100 turbines were installed across 34 U.S. states and another 2,000 turbines are now under construction from California to Massachusetts. In all, there are about more than 25,000 U.S. turbines in operation, an investment of $15 billion. On May 12, the U.S. Energy Department said wind power could provide 20 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030, or 304 gigawatts, up from the current 16.8 gigawatts. Achieving that will require that wind turbine installations rise to almost 7,000 a year by 2017, the department said.
Kacprowicz said the city is on a learning curve with implementing renewable sources of energy and is still finding out how much the wind power fluctuates and what to expect. Added to the uncertainty is that Columbia wasn't guaranteed transmission of the power it was contracted to purchase from the wind farm until Feb. 1 because of overloaded transmission lines, Kacprowicz said. Once the city was guaranteed transmission of its wind power in February, it was notified that 11 of the 27 turbines at the wind farm were out of service because of cracked blades, which reduced the amount of power Columbia received.
The wind energy company founded by Tom Carnahan is getting a $150 million investment from Ireland-based NTR PLC - a financial boost that Carnahan says will help transform Wind Capital Group LLC. NTR will provide cash and supply 150 megawatts of wind turbines for delivery to Wind Capital in 2010, Carnahan said in an interview. In return, NTR will get an undisclosed stake in the company. ...Earlier this week, Wind Capital agreed to sell a 400-megawatt wind farm site in southern Minnesota to a subsidiary of Wisconsin-based Alliant Energy Corp. In December, the company sold a 200-megawatt wind farm site in Iowa to Alliant.
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.
Charles Speer, a Kansas City attorney representing Mr. Porter, noted the family relationships involved and offered his initial goals for the case. "My intent is to calm tensions" and find a resolution to the dispute, he said. He said his client opposed the wind farm from the very start and has researched the health impacts of the facilities. According to the lawsuit, Charles Porter and his family - including an 11-year-old daughter - have suffered from a strobe light the towers emit twice daily, loud noise caused by the turbines, destruction of property, loss of sleep, and other factors linked to the project.
Kansas City Power & Light has tabled plans to build in 2008 its second 100-megawatt wind farm, citing difficulties in getting financing. The wind farm was promised by KCP&L as part of a comprehensive energy plan that included the coal-fired Iatan 2 plant, under construction near Weston. The plan, announced last March by the utility and the Sierra Club, was hailed as the first of its kind and included building 400 megawatts of wind energy by 2012. The utility, which this week acknowledged construction cost overruns at Iatan 2, is putting off the wind project at a time when other utilities are stepping up their wind-energy construction. The decision also means KCP&L won't take advantage of federal wind energy tax credits that expire at the end of the year.
Jim McCarty of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives said he doesn't expect the wind to really start humming until fall and spring. "That's actually one of the drawbacks of wind energy," McCarty said. "It's going to work best when you really don't need power that much. When you think of springtime when the wind is blowing and people are out flying kites, that's when you have windows open, and you're not running your furnaces as much." ..."It's never going to shut down the big power plants," McCarty said. "It's always going to be supplementary power, but when it blows, it's great."
Wind power was supposed to become part of Columbia's energy mix on Sunday, but delays at the wind farm providing the electricity and ongoing bureaucratic holdups stand in the way. Wind turbines at the King City farm in northwest Missouri are up and running, but the electricity is not yet available for Columbia to purchase because of testing delays, said Nancy Southworth, a spokeswoman for Associated Electric Cooperative. Columbia, meanwhile, continues to negotiate with the regulatory body that oversees power transmission in the Midwest about whether there is enough space in the regional electrical grid to get the wind power to Columbia.
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is looking for new ways to generate electricity. The search is part of a new plan to add a little green to the city's power. The City of Columbia wants to start working with the University of Missouri to measure wind speed so local wind energy might someday be used to power parts of the city. The City Council gave the green light to install wind measuring devices called anemometers to track wind speed in the area.
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.