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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rock Port Missouri Wind Power: Tax Subsidy Plus Savings for City

Quick update on my story about Rock Port (yes, two words!), Missouri, the first 100% wind-powered town in America: I contacted Dave Akins, Rock Port's city administrator and utilities superintendent. Akins explained that the turbines aren't owned by the city. They are owned by John Deere's wind power division and managed by Missouri's Wind Capital Group. Akins says the Missouri Public Utility Alliance contracts for the power from the turbines at $0.055 per kWh and gets $0.02 back in the form of a federal subsidy. Akins says the energy cost for Rock Port did not change; plus, the city saves money (about $50K a year, by his count) in wheeling charges.

It still takes that federal subsidy to keep the cost down, but Rock Port is still coming out a little ahead on the budget book. Plus, the wind turbines are producing a P.R. boost for the community that no banners or slogans or ads can match. The City of Madison and our growing John Deere dealership should talk to John Deere Wind about plunking a big wind turbine right on top of our Madison waterfall sign as part of a "Welcome to Madison" wind farm all along Highway 34. That kind of investment would speak volumes about our progressive community.


  1. I'm not going to complain about that federal subsidy. Now is the time for the feds to step up and encourage the development of more renewable forms of energy. We need to reduce our dependence on imported oil and if the total cost of those imports was widely known their cost would look like even less of a bargain.

    I ran into a "drill baby drill" guy the other day. He thinks the earth is only a few thousand years old and new oil is being produced even as we speak at rates greater than current use. We just have to go find it. I was stunned by his insistence and refusal to listen to other arguments or evidence.

    He is a member of a evengelical church with a very charismatic preacher. Faith over science. Kind of scary when you run into it face to face.

  2. Madison may be in a prime position for a wind farm development. The City owns the land behind James River Equipment, they own the power generator across the street to the north along with additional land on the north side of Highway 34, which could accomodate wind equipment. The transmission lines are already in place to serve Madison and perhaps sell power to other areas. Madison could be a leader in natural power generation using the abundant wind we have and some of the properties our city already owns and controls.


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