Library filed under General from Missouri
MONTICELLO, Mo. — The Missouri Wind Resources Steering Committee wants to add value to one of the state's renewable resources, wind, by using the example set by another. "What we're trying to do with the wind project is create an ethanol-style property," said committee member John Wood, a Monticello farmer. "Like a farmer-owned ethanol plant, it will be a farmer-owned wind energy plant where we can control the production and selling it into the grid." The first step is matching a $100,000 federal grant with locally-raised funds — or finding 1,000 people in the Tri-States to give $100, Wood said — to study the project's feasibility. But Wood and committee members offer no promises to contributors beyond trying to determine which locations in the state can support a commercially viable wind energy facility.
Two wind farms in northwestern Missouri are expected to generate enough electricity for up to 64,000 homes — a power source Columbia plans to tap. The wind-swept farm fields near King City don’t seem to be a likely place to find a miracle of 21st-century engineering. Cows graze behind barbed-wire fences. Ponds reflect the late-summer sky, and local history is on display at a living history festival just down the road. A mile north of town, gargantuan white cylinders and sleek, aerodynamic blades rest on the ground beside massive cranes like a collection of NASA spacecraft. The scale of Missouri’s first wind farm has to be seen to be appreciated. Just as impressive is the speed at which this project is coming together. Only three months ago, Missouri had no utility-scale wind farm. By the end of 2007, 51 wind turbines will begin pumping power into the grid of lines and towers that feeds the Midwest’s hunger for electricity.
Renewable energy advocates are providing consumers with ways to lend their financial support to the cause. Renewable energy certificates, also called “green tags,” are being sold across the United States by several companies that produce alternative energy. Some of these companies own wind farms; others own a variety of renewable energy sources. Customers of the Boone Electric Cooperative will soon be able to purchase renewable energy certificates for electricity from the Bluegrass Ridge wind farm in northwest Missouri. The certificates come in 100 kilowatt-hour blocks, and cost $2 more per block than conventional electricity. Al Lynch, assistant manager of Boone Electric Cooperative, said most members use an average of 1,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. Replacing all that electricity with wind power would cost an extra $22 per month, he said.
Rural electric board member Roger Arthur of Postville, Iowa says efficiency involves renewable energy sources, such as wind power, however he says back-ups are necessary to make it reliable. “When people throw that switch on they expect to have power,” Arthur told Brownfield from the regional meeting Tuesday, “so you have to able to do that 99.99 percent of the time that throw that switch.”
Local members of the Sierra Club and the Southwest Missouri Citizens for Clean Energy have been working for a better permit since it was first released in the Autumn of 2004. The city’s own Power Supply Task Force recommended that any new plant that is built should be the cleanest possible, using the latest technology available. The existing permit does not meet that requirement, and CU is ignoring the recommendation in allowing construction to move forward.
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.
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.
The breeziest part of Missouri is attracting more interest for companies wanting to set up wind farms.
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.
ST. LOUIS - The developers behind a commercial wind farm being built in northwest Missouri said Wednesday they are planning to build a second farm about 50 miles away.
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.
The $70 million project is a venture of Wind Capital Group, with financing from John Deere Wind Energy of Johnston, Iowa, a division of the Deere & Co. farm equipment manufacturer. Springfield-based Associated Electric Cooperative is to distribute the electricity through its network of cooperatives
After months of study, a majority of the task force made two recommendations: For the near term, add an additional coal power plant locally. For the long term, expand efforts to encourage energy efficiency.
Around 225 CU customers have chosen to have their electric needs supplied by a wind farm in Kansas. They pay about twice as much for electric power as other CU customers. But there's no way wind could supply electricity for everyone in Springfield. We would have a lot of hours in the year with no power if we did that, Twitty said. Of course, a blackout is one way to conserve.
An agreement to enter a long-term contract to buy electricity from a power plant in Illinois was approved Monday night by the Columbia City Council despite opposition from environmental groups and some Columbia citizens.
Proposed power plants in Kansas and Missouri have become targets of environmentalists who are fighting to halt a new wave of coal-fired units.
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - Developers have announced plans for a wind energy project in northwest Missouri's Gentry County.
NEOSHO, Mo. - Even on its side, lying in pieces, the thing is huge. Upright, it will dominate the skyline at Crowder College, towering over a small village of solar homes and the Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology Center that also will be built there.