July 12, 2006 | Second utility-scale wind farm announced for Missouri
Contact : Nancy Southworth
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Phone : 417.885.9246
John Deere, Wind Capital Group and Missouri cooperatives announce Missouri’s second 50-megawatt wind farm to be constructed near Rock Port, Mo.
It’s not yet built, but the energy generated by developers of Missouri’s first utility-scale wind farm has led to the development of a second wind farm in northwest Missouri.
Less than six months after announcing the state’s first commercial wind farm, Wind Capital Group, John Deere Wind Energy and Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. said today a second 50-megawatt wind farm will be constructed in Atchison County, Missouri.
The 50-megawatt Cow Branch Wind Energy Project will be located between Rock Port and Tarkio, Mo., which is about 50 miles from the site where construction is under way on the first project: the Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm near King City, Mo., in Gentry County.
“It’s exciting that farmers right here in rural Missouri are the ones leading the way toward more energy independence for our country,” said Tom Carnahan, project developer and president of Wind Capital Group of St. Louis. “I want to thank John Deere, Missouri’s rural electric cooperatives, and most of all, the landowners and community in Atchison County for making this possible.”
Doyle Childers, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, said, “I applaud the creation of this second large wind-power installation in Missouri. This renewable energy project helps meet our energy needs by using resources that we have right here in Missouri,” he said. “This will benefit Missouri farmers and communities by improving environmental quality and by keeping money in Missouri’s economy.”
Similar to the first wind farm, the Cow Branch project will consist of 24 Suzlon S-88, 2.1-MW turbines. Combined, the two farms can produce 100 MW. That’s enough power for about 30,000 homes. The electricity will be purchased by Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. and distributed through its network of regional and local rural electric cooperatives. Construction will begin in early 2007, and wind turbines are expected to arrive in the spring. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2007.
“The energy needs of Associated Electric’s member cooperatives are growing,” said Jim Jura, CEO and general manager of AECI. “We are committed to finding clean, low-cost generating resources to meet the growth on our members’ systems. This renewable energy project does that while also helping us meet our commitment to protect the environment.”
Project financing is being provided by the Wind Energy group of John Deere Credit, the Johnston, Iowa-based unit of Deere & Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment.
“We’re very excited to once again have the opportunity to participate in a project that provides such significant benefits to the community and AECI member cooperatives,” said David A. Drescher, vice president of John Deere Credit. “In addition to the many economic benefits, it’s equally gratifying to know that these projects are environmentally friendly and represent a positive step in making the U.S. more self sufficient relative to its energy needs.”
About 35 Atchison County landowners are involved in the project, which will span more than 7,000 acres. Landowners will receive annual lease payments for hosting turbines, and the county will see an expanded tax base and job creation.
Local farmer and landowner Steve Joesting was most interested in the economic benefits that a wind farm will provide to the area. “It strengthens the school funding where my children go to school,” Joesting said. “The lease payments are welcome, but the bigger issue is what this does for our area’s economics.”
Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. is owned by and provides wholesale power to six regional and 51 local electric cooperative systems in Missouri, northeast Oklahoma and southeast Iowa that serve more than 800,000 customers. AECI’s mission is to provide an economical and reliable power supply and support services to its members with the vision of being the nation’s lowest-cost wholesale power supplier. AECI is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, www.aeci.org.
An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V
Photo caption: The new Cow Branch Wind Energy Project near Rock Port, Mo., will be the second utility-scale wind farm under construction in northwest Missouri. The first project, the Blue Grass Ridge Wind Farm, will begin operating in 2006. On site are, from left, Tim Shuggart, project manager, and Dean Baumgardner, development manager with Alliant Energy, the general contractor; and Tom Carnahan, project developer and president of Wind Capital Group.
For more information contact:
Wind Capital Group
Tony Wyche, Wind Capital Group
John Deere Wind Energy
Associated Electric Cooperative Inc.
Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives
Released: 12 July 2006