Columbia's wind energy contract arouses some disputes

10 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Wednesday, December 28 2016 Dec 28, 2016 Wednesday, December 28, 2016 9:44:36 PM CST December 28, 2016 in News
By: Chris Green, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – Columbia residents will soon have another renewable resource providing them with energy, but not everyone agrees with the source of it.

The City Council recently approved a contract to purchase more energy from wind power in order to keep up with its renewable energy goals. While most of the council members agreed to raise the use of wind energy, Laura Nauser had a different opinion.

"I don't support wind. I think wind is a scourge on our planet," she said.

Nauser said she grew up in California and frequently saw “the ungodly look of windmills.” Additionally, she cited the American Audubon Society saying, “wind turbines kill an estimated 140,000-328,000 birds in North American alone.”

Council member Karl Skala countered both of those points.

“One person’s outrage at the aesthetics of what a windmill looks like is another person’s awe in what some of these fields of windmills actually do look like,” he said. “They do take their toll on some bird populations, although those numbers have been exaggerated to a great degree.”

Skala also commented on the wind technology, saying it’s “light years” ahead of fossil fuels. Council member Ian Thomas agreed.

“The benefits of wind energy as replacing fossil fuels are enormous and incomparable,” he said.

Columbia Water and Light spokesperson Connie Kacprowicz said most Columbia residents agree with the city’s renewable energy goals. She said the citizens passed a renewable energy mandate in 2004 with overwhelming support, but they don’t get to choose if it’s carried out.

“It’s kind of up to the City Council as far as whether we follow it or not,” she said. “[The council members] have the ultimate decision in this type of thing.”

The next deadline set by the mandate is to increase renewable energy usage to 15 percent by the end of 2017. Cacprowicz said the new contract should help to meet this goal.

The contract is with Crystal Lake III LLC in northern Iowa. Columbia has had a contract with the company since 2012, and the new contract will more than double the amount of energy purchased.

Columbia also buys energy from a wind farm in northwest Missouri, Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm. Kacprowicz said the reason the city keeps contracting out of Iowa instead of staying in-state is both the price and the location.

“We’ve gone out for requests for proposals and tried to find the cheapest, but also in a place where we could easily get that wind energy delivered to Columbia,” she said.

Crystal Lake III is more than 300 miles away from Columbia, but Kacprowicz said its location allows for an easy transmission of energy.

According to Water and Light’s 2016 Renewable Energy Report, the energy from Crystal Lake III accounted for 2.18 percent of the city’s total sources of electricity.

The city previously bought 21 megawatts from the company, and the new contract will provide an extra 27 megawatts beginning in January, increasing to 45 megawatts in 2023.

The price will start at $19.55 per megawatt hour and will increase by 2 percent every year until the contract ends in 2032. The final price will be $26.31 per megawatt hour.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Missouri basketball star Michael Porter Jr. is recovering after undergoing surgery in Dallas Tuesday. MU said he will... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 6:34:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
BARNETT, Mo - A Morgan County detective is apologizing after shooting and killing a family's dog. He was attempting... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 5:35:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Wednesday, Columbia police released photos of an October armed robbery at Dash Liquor. On October 29,... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 5:01:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Highway Patrol is joining the fight against opioids. The drug has caused a nationwide crisis,... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:27:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man involved in a deadly shooting in May has been indicted by a federal grand jury... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:04:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – With Thanksgiving comes a lot more traffic on the roads. In fact, according to AAA there will... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 2:14:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley sent a letter to Uber on Wednesday demanding the rideshare take immediate... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 1:51:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - City Council voted 4-2 on Monday to postpone a preliminary plat for Columbia Public Schools’ new middle school... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 11:03:00 AM CST November 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A Boone County judge approved a change of venue request for a man accused in a deadly October... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 10:56:00 AM CST November 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Prosecutor's Office filed more charges Wednesday against a man arrested for two robberies in October.... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 8:47:00 AM CST November 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Whether it is by car, plane or train, many people will be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 2:36:00 AM CST November 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A three-car crash temporarily shut down one of the northbound lanes of Range Line St. around 6:00 Tuesday... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 7:00:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The American Farm Bureau Federation conducted a survey on 16 food items from 25 states across the country... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 6:19:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Auditor June Pitchford presented the commission with her proposed 2018 budget Tuesday afternoon. The commissioners... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 6:06:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A one-of-a-kind facility is starting to take shape in Jefferson City. At the junction of US Highway... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 5:55:10 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
SEDALIA - Steel giant Nucor announced Tuesday it would build a new facility in Sedalia, bringing 250 new jobs and... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 4:04:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
FULTON - Callaway County Humane Society Investigator Sandy Corbet said she's had an increase in phone calls related to missing... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 3:37:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A man was hospitalized with serious injuries after a crash at MO 179 and Missouri Boulevard. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 2:45:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
8pm 34°
9pm 31°
10pm 31°
11pm 30°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
Saturday Night Live
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
7:00p
iHeartRadio Music Festival, Night 1
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
iHeartRadio Music Festival, Night 1
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld