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Northern Jasper County land being eyed as wind farm site

Land in northern Jasper County near a site once eyed for a landfill now is being evaluated as a possible wind farm location. Representatives of Iberdrola Renewables met Thursday at Carthage Memorial Hall with about 200 landowners about potential property leases. "We are looking at Jasper County and meeting with interested landowners," said Paul Copleman, communications manager with the company. "But, it's very early in the process."

Land in northern Jasper County near a site once eyed for a landfill now is being evaluated as a possible wind farm location.

Representatives of Iberdrola Renewables met Thursday at Carthage Memorial Hall with about 200 landowners about potential property leases.

"We are looking at Jasper County and meeting with interested landowners," said Paul Copleman, communications manager with the company. "But, it's very early in the process."

Mark Russell, who owns land north of Purcell, said he attended the session and that company officials expressed interest in leases on thousands of acres of property.

Copleman said the company still is looking to determine specific locations and volumes of property, and that some of those decisions will depend on measurements of wind in the area. Towers to be used in the measurements have not yet been installed, he said.

Copleman said it typically takes between three to five years to develop a wind farm and that the operations are very compatible with traditional farming.

Small footprint

"The projects themselves have a very small footprint and take very little land out of production," he said. "I was just at our site in Northwest Missouri. It was right before... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Land in northern Jasper County near a site once eyed for a landfill now is being evaluated as a possible wind farm location.

Representatives of Iberdrola Renewables met Thursday at Carthage Memorial Hall with about 200 landowners about potential property leases.

"We are looking at Jasper County and meeting with interested landowners," said Paul Copleman, communications manager with the company. "But, it's very early in the process."

Mark Russell, who owns land north of Purcell, said he attended the session and that company officials expressed interest in leases on thousands of acres of property.

Copleman said the company still is looking to determine specific locations and volumes of property, and that some of those decisions will depend on measurements of wind in the area. Towers to be used in the measurements have not yet been installed, he said.

Copleman said it typically takes between three to five years to develop a wind farm and that the operations are very compatible with traditional farming.

Small footprint

"The projects themselves have a very small footprint and take very little land out of production," he said. "I was just at our site in Northwest Missouri. It was right before harvest, and the corn was high and right up to the base."

The firm is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and has wind farms in locations including northwestern Missouri and eastern Kansas. Customers include Empire District Electric Co.

Russell said he had made no decision on a potential lease, but added, "It's a lot better than a landfill."

He said it also appeared that the firm wants input from the public and that "they plan to do a lot of environmental work" in advance of the proposal.

Russell was among dozens of neighbors who battled plans by a developer for a 106-acre landfill within a 640-acre tract north of Baseline Road and County Road 120. Arguing a landfill at the site would be an environmental hazard, residents fought the proposal for more than 20 years and challenged state approvals of the site all the way to the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Auction

Until last year, the land had been owned by Advantage Waste. Then it was sold to Republic Financial Corp., whose officials last February announced they planned to sell the property with the proviso it could not be developed for a landfill.

It is unclear whether the landfill property is among parcels being considered in the wind farm proposal. But any discussions on the property will have to be directed to new owners. The land was sold at an auction held Friday at the First Baptist Church in Jasper. The property was marketed in 10 tracts, ranging in size from 18 acres to 176 acres.

Officials with Diamond S Auction Real Estate Co. handled the sale and said all Department of Natural Resource requirements to abandon the property as a landfill site will be met at the expense of the seller.

"There will be no closing until 10 days after DNR approval," a company official said.

Federal grant

Iberdrola Renewables in September announced the firm had received nearly $300 million in federal stimulus grants to support new wind energy projects in Texas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Oregon.


Source: http://www.joplinglobe.com/...

OCT 17 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/22711-northern-jasper-county-land-being-eyed-as-wind-farm-site
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