The small farming community town of Rock Port [pop. 1400], Missouri is claiming to be the first US town to be 100% wind driven for their electrical needs. Using about 13 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year, the town boasts that 4 wind driven turbines can provide up to 16 million kilowatt hours of power each year. But there are additional benefits to wind power which include real estate tax increase and also land being leased to a company named Wind Capital Group, of St. Louis.
In an article from Science Daily it states:
Excess wind generated electricity not used by Rock Port homes and businesses is expected to be move onto the transmission lines to be purchased by the Missouri Joint Municipal Utilities for use in other areas.
University of Missouri Extension specialists say that there are excellent opportunities for sustainable wind power in northwest Missouri.
“This is a unique situation because in rural areas it is quite uncommon to have this increase in taxation revenues,” said Jerry Baker, MU Extension community development specialist.
The alternative-energy source also benefits landowners, who can make anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 leasing part of their property for wind turbines.
Other wind energy companies are looking at possible sites in northwest Missouri, Baker said.
A map published by the U.S. Department of Energy indicates that northwest Missouri has the state’s highest concentration of wind resources and contains a number of locations potentially suitable for utility-scale wind development.
“We’re farming the wind, which is something that we have up here,” Crawford said. “The payback on a per-acre basis is generally quite good when compared to a lot of other crops, and it’s as simple as getting a cup of coffee and watching the blades spin.”
This is an interesting story since it shows that wind driven power is viable for powering local areas, in which wind is abundant. It also shows how local communities can benefit by increasing their tax base and reaping the benefits of leasing land to developers of the wind technology. This seems like and win-win for all who are involved.
Maybe T. Boone Pickens does have a viable solution to help solve some of our energy needs. Hopefully our two candidates for president will embrace this technology and help break some of our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil.
What do you think? Is wind power ready for prime time?