First US Town Powered Solely by Wind
Rock Port, Mo., has an unusual crop: wind turbines.
The four turbines that supply electricity to the small town
of 1,300 residents make it the first community in the United
to operate solely on wind power.
something to be very proud of, especially in a rural area like
this — that we're doing our part for
the environment," said Jim Crawford, a natural resource engineer
at the University of Missouri Extension in Columbia.
A map published by the U.S. Department of Energy indicates that
northwest Missouri has the state's highest concentrations of wind
resources and contains a number of locations that are potentially
suitable for utility-scale wind development. The four turbines
that power Rock Port are part of a larger set of 75 turbines across
three counties that are used to harvest the power of wind.
"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
And the turbines have another benefit besides produces clean energy:
MU Extension specialists said that the Missouri wind farms will
bring in more than $1.1 million annually in county real estate
taxes, to be paid by Wind Capital Group, a wind energy developer
based in St. Louis.
Landowners can also benefit by leasing part of their property
for wind turbines.
The turbines will also provide savings to rural electric companies
and will provide electric service for at least 20 years, the anticipated
lifetime of the turbines.