Library from Missouri
A 750-mile interstate power line promises to deliver wind-generated electricity to Columbia at nearly half the price the city now pays. But the savings cannot be certain until the line is built and contracts are proposed.
For our part, we always felt uneasy about this proposal but joined with others in wanting to defer to the experts. The problem, however, is government oversight of wind farm developers is limited, meaning expert opinions carry less weight. In the end, Element Power withdrew the project rather than try to scale back operations to meet conservationists’ compelling arguments.
Holt County commissioner Mark Sitherwood stated he has been contacted by Element and that the project had recently been canceled. Landowners also received a written 30-day notice of a lease termination that stated Element would be moving the project to another location.
The hearing was the first of a series of public meetings on the project being held across the state. While some in attendance support the jobs, taxes and clean energy that developers promised, coalitions of landowners opposed to the project, most of them wearing neon green T-shirts or stickers that said “Block GBE,” dominated the hearing.
The wind farm could bring economic vitality to the county ...Local landowners would profit from having a turbine on their property. These gains, however, must be balanced against potential losses. Squaw Creek and hunting bring thousands of visitors to the county each year. Forfeiting those benefits could end up costing more than the wind farm would generate.
Last week, several Randolph County landowners told the Moberly Monitor-Index how they felt about Grain Belt Express Clean Line ...The week before, several Monroe County landowners talked about not wanting Clean Line towers on their property, as well. Monroe County commissioners are supporting the wishes of farmers in their county.
The Grain Belt Express (GBE) "Clean Line" is a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission line, approximately 750 miles long stretching from western Kansas eastward across Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Electrical current carried through the lines will come from new wind turbine farms in Kansas.
As it had indicated last week, the Marion County Commission on Monday approved sending a letter to the Missouri Public Service Commission and officials with Clean Line LLC that details the commissioners’ withdrawal of support for the high-voltage power line project.
"We have sacrificed everything for this land," said Jennifer Gatrel, 33, who, along with her husband, Jeff, farms a 430-acre cattle ranch in western Missouri. "We don't go on vacation. We don't go out to eat. Everything we have is tied up in this land. The idea that somebody can come in and take it from us is appalling and it goes against what it is to be an American."
When they go shopping for renewable credits, Ameren, KCPL and Empire Electric “buy the cheapest RECs, and those always come from existing facilities,” Wilson explained. “It’s not spurring any new development in California. There is no benefit to Missouri customers.”
Ford and some neighbors along the route of the “Grain Belt Express” from southwest Kansas to Indiana say the project — the first of its kind to cross Missouri — is unnecessary, the folly of billionaires, and will harm property values, impair production and generally destroy their way of life.
The approval depends on the developer, Clean Line Energy, getting approvals from the Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana state utility commissions before starting construction in Kansas. The order also specified that construction must begin within five years, and that Clean Line can’t recover any of its costs from Kansas ratepayers.
In 2012, there were an estimated 34,000 lesser prairie chickens across their grassland range, which includes portions of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. Kansas is home to about half the country's lesser prairie chicken population. This year's survey showed the bird's population has declined by about half, down to an estimated 17,600 total in the five states.
The rebates amounted to just $350,000 in 2010 but surged to $12 million in 2012. The utility is projecting the payout on track to reach $51 million. In a filing with the Missouri Public Service Commission, KCP&L says it wants to suspend the rebates later this year and in the future keep the total payout to no more than $21 million annually.
Renew Missouri and seven other environmental advocacy and green energy groups filed complaints with the Missouri Public Service Commission on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31. The complaints accused Ameren Missouri, Empire District Electric Co. and Kansas City Power & Light of not complying with the standards.
The case revives long-running arguments over how the renewable energy law is implemented. The measure, approved as Proposition C in 2008, requires investor-owned utilities to use renewable energy for a fraction of electricity sales.
The law says the use of renewable energy cannot cause electric rates to rise more than 1 percent from what they would be otherwise. The rate cap provision in the rules was at the heart of the legal battle. The PSC rules require utilities to use a 10-year average when calculating the 1 percent rate impact to allow for higher upfront costs.
After a year of dispute, the Dekalb County Assessor and Wind Capital Group have taken their arguments to the courtroom. The dispute is over assessed tax rates on 97 wind turbines in the Lost Creek Wind Energy project in Dekalb County.
Disappointed with how the 2008 ballot measure turned out, the state's renewable energy industry resolved to fix what it considered broken. The group is setting out to put in place a more aggressive green power mandate -- one that would put Missouri on par with Illinois.
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.