Articles from Missouri
The meeting’s attendees had the goal in mind of keeping tax revenues from the proposed High Prairie wind farm project in Adair and Schuyler counties, rather than disbursing the tax benefit across the state of Missouri. Because the project will be purchased by Ameren Missouri, a public utility company, after its construction, its taxes would currently be assessed at the state level.
Though still a long way from fruition — or even a concrete application — the prospect of up to about 50 turbines and 200 megawatts has already stoked debate across some of the surrounding farms and growing bedroom communities of Monroe County.
Members of the Missouri Public Service Commission heard from members of the public on the possible positives and pitfalls of a proposal to bring a wind farm to Adair and Schuyler counties at a meeting Tuesday in Schuyler County’s elementary school.
Opposition in Missouri has been fierce as landowners along the proposed route have organized and fought regulatory approvals needed by Grain Belt to bypass landowners. Jennifer Gatrel, a spokeswoman for the landowners’ group, said though Tuesday’s ruling is a setback, her members believe they will ultimately be successful in their fight against the Grain Belt project.
“The overall purpose is to listen to people’s issues with wind energy, both good and bad,” said Joe Lear, Extension’s Northwest Missouri director. “It is really trying to gauge people’s feelings and tell their story a bit ... We’re prepared to listen.” The prospects of more wind farms locating in the state also factored into the planning, he added. He said DeKalb and Atchison counties were both chosen for the meetings based on their number of wind turbines.
Paul Agathen, a lawyer who is spending his retirement representing the opponents without charge, disputed the characterization that the ruling leaves counties with little or no discretion. More litigation may be needed to determine where the line lies, he said.
Carroll said the county had other options at its disposal for pursuing economic development. “There are a lot of other businesses we could have had,” he said. The wind farms, he continued, have been divisive for DeKalb County.
JEFFERSON CITY – Different sides reacted Wednesday to the Missouri Supreme Court's ruling in favor of a wind energy project.
A long-stalled proposal for a multi-state electric transmission line was thrown a lifeline Tuesday, when the Missouri Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state regulators erred in rejecting the project based on a controversial legal precedent.
The $2.3 billion project would carry power harnessed from the wind-whipped plains of western Kansas on a 780-mile (1,255 kilometer) trek across Missouri and Illinois before hooking into an electric grid in Indiana that serves the eastern U.S.
The state’s Office of Public Counsel and the staff of the Missouri Public Service Commission are skeptical. They don’t trust Empire’s estimates of the future price of wind on the wholesale market, and they maintain that the utility has structured the deal so that the tax-equity investor – as yet unnamed – will be paid off during the first 10 years, leaving only crumbs behind for ratepayers.
It's one of the longest transmission lines proposed in the U.S. But it was rejected last year by Missouri utility commissioners whom Nixon appointed. The state Public Service Commission cited a state appeals court ruling in a separate case that determined a utility first must get approval from local governments to string power lines across roads before the state regulatory commission can grant permission.
Ex-Missouri governor urges court to allow wind-energy line
"It's all backed by greed. the almighty dollar. with disregard to human lives and the wild life and it's devastating. our hearts are broken," Kim Tindel said.
The company plans to pursue an equity partnership that would take advantage of $800 million in federal tax incentives for the project, making Empire's total investment $700 million. Empire would also retire its coal-fired plant in Asbury more than 15 years early.
Missouri is no longer the lone holdout to approve a high-voltage transmission project scheduled to span four states, bringing wind energy from western Kansas through Northeast Missouri further east.
Grain Belt Express may move forward, but the U.S. onshore wind industry still needs lots of new transmission. A contested 780-mile Midwestern transmission line for wind, the Grain Belt Express Clean Line, may have another chance at life. A Missouri judge ruled recently that the state’s utility commission “erred” in denying the project, putting a final decision in the hands of the state Supreme Court.
With the proposed multi-state wind energy transmission line, Grain Belt Express, held up over controversial interpretations of Missouri law, prospective developers of the project have pushed for the case to go before the state Supreme Court.
The process of laying groundwork for development of a new wind energy project in northern Nodaway County continued Friday as representatives from Tenaska Inc., an Omaha, Nebraska-based independent power producer, met with the Nodaway County Commission in an effort to iron out road and infrastructure issues associated with turbine installation.